Jeannie Guzman: Your reporter on the scene, well ALMOST! On the scene from my lounge chair, watching the video off of my computer:
This afternoon, I had nothing better do to than housework, and since it’s against my religion to do so on Sunday, or any other day that ends in “Y” for that matter, I decided to watch the video of the 50th Annual Eucharistic Congress, hosted this year in Dublin, one of my favorite cities. Today, I watched much of the video on the Eucharistic Congress, and I plan to do so for the next week, if I don’t get too bored. I’ll be bringing you the highlights and recommend video clips, if I see any that are worthwhile. At the end of the conference, I’ll tell you the chemical secret as to why one can write his or her name in the foam of a Guinness! Your trip to Dublin would be in vain, without this invaluable piece of chemical trivia, which I learned in 1970, when I hitch-hiked thru Ireland!
“The 3 Irish Tenors” opened the ceremonies, and if I were they, (and to be perfectly clear, I’m NOT speaking from the standpoint of one with a multiple personality disorder), I would not do so again. As they were singing, “Panis Angelicus,” people, who looked like old, retired golfers or escapees from “rest homes,” trailer parks or Walmart parking lots, were wondering around on and off stage, right in front of the cameras, as “The Three Irish Tenors” were trying to sing! Maybe they were looking for a free hand-out of “Bread of Angels;” I just don’t know! They obviously didn’t appreciate “good music,” or they just wanted to be immortalized by being on stage, in front of the cameras, with “The Three Irish Tenors!”
With the exception of “The 3 Irish Tenors,” who probably had the wisdom to bring their own sound equipment, based upon the way much of the program sounded, the “sound man” was probably a hard-of-hearing volunteer, and the sound equipment was undoubtedly donated or picked up at the Irish equivalent of “Good Will.” The acoustics couldn’t have been that bad, naturally, so I’m taking the liberty of assuming that well-meaning audio volunteers (from a local high school or school for the deaf) and used sound equipment, which the Archdiocese picked up cheap, because it had been rolled off of a mountain, were responsible. I also doubt if the Archdiocese of Dublin had anyone resembling a “Stage Manager,” to coordinate things, to run the various (obviously inept) technical crews and to keep wanderers off stage and from tripping in front of the cameras. If the Eucharistic Congress actually had a “Stage Manager,” he, like most bishops, archbishops and cardinals, was grossly over-paid and probably educated at the College of Canon Law on the Piazza della Pillota in Rome, rather than in an actual film school.
After “The 3 Irish Tenors” tried their level best to create a heavenly ambience and set the mood for the 7 Day Conference, a local choir sang, and this is where it got really interesting and worth the price of the ticket. Their second song was a rendition of an American Baptist, Country-Western Favorite, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee!” I am NOT lying! (My guess is that they’ll probably try to end the program with an “Altar Call” and a Billy Graham favorite, “Just as I am!”)
Now, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee!” was a totally unexpected joy, as was the final chorus, where they tried their best “to Rock it!” Maybe the choir should have found a couple of videos off of Youtube of Pentecostal or Baptist Churches in Louisiana really rockin’ in order to get a semblance of an idea as to how this objective would be successfully accomplished! The piano player should have sounded more like Jimmy Swagart or his cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, rather than someone who played in an “Oom Pah Band!” How anyone can rock off-beat and ignore obvious syncopation is beyond me, but let’s face it…. They’re Irish Catholics and not Spirit-filled, Black Baptists with natural, God-given “Soul,” so I suppose they did their best with what God gave them! (Thank God the Irish can dance; they just need a couple centuries of practice before they can “rock!”) It was almost like watching Southern “High Episcopalians” trying “to rock!” Now, do you get the picture?
I left the video, when Dr. Sean Brady marched up the isle (with what looked to be burly body-guards) to a less than enthusiastic response by the crowd. It almost made me think that somewhere in the background, someone held up a sign that said, “Clap Now, or you will go directly to Hell and not collect $200!” Otherwise, there might not have been any clapping at all. The scene was dark, just like the scene in Casa Blanca, when Major Strassa was shot by Humphrey Boghart as Ingrid Bergman’s plane was trying to leave the runway!
I guess the choir that sang, “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” was supposed to warm up the crowd and loosen it up a bit before Dr. Cardinal Sean Brady made his lofty appearance! That idea seemed to work, at least a temporarily, until Cardinal Sean Brady showed up on the scene with his body-guards! Then, the ceremony sort of “Fell Flat!” He really knows how to ruin a party! Next time, for safety reasons, he should rent the Pope’s Mercedez “Pope-Mobile!” Cardinal Sean Brady should have a Benz like every other cardinal, and due to his rapidly-growing unpopularity, he should have his own Pope-Mobile for his protection! Now to be perfectly fair, the Vatican had chosen Dr. Sean Brady to be the most competent, capable, efficient and anointed Cardinal to run the Regional Branch office of the Vatican in Ireland, as the Primate of ALL Ireland. Regarding the issue of “the competency” of Cardinal Brady, to quote Humphrey Boghart, I guess the Vatican was “Misinformed!”
One would almost think that the Irish weren’t too happy that he was still the Primate of ALL Ireland and hadn’t been removed by the Vatican! I hope that he sleeps well tonight and that his conscience is clear, in allowing Fr. Brendan Smyth to continue in the priesthood so he could go on to molest, rape and sodomize over 100 children in Ireland, Wales and the United States! Could it be that’s why he received such a cool reception from his own people? I don’t know! I sort of wonder?
For a link to a good, Cajun rendition of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKnUEg7RS3U&feature=related