Tuesday, August 11, 2015

News you can use

The Pope is coming,
and this is how you
can get tickets.

Many are eager to attend the Mass with Pope Francis on Wednesday, September 23, at 4:15 PM, on the grounds of the Catholic University of America at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  I would love to be able to offer a ticket to everyone who would like to attend!  However, the number of tickets available is limited, and the number given to Saint Bernadette for our registered parishioners is very small.  I will do my best to allocate our tickets fairly.
The Mass will be IN SPANISH.   The tickets we have been allotted are of three different types: one is for open seating at the Mass; another is for standing room at the Mass; a third is for “in the Shrine,” and I confess that I do not know precisely what that indicates.  Some seats and standing areas have obstructed views.  Huge televisions will be deployed to make up for what is lacking, and I assume that would include the interior of the Shrine.  
Please realize that due to crowd size and heavy security restrictions, Mass attendees will be required to arrive at the Shrine/CUA hours ahead of time.  Moreover, it has not yet been decided whether the parish or the archdiocese will arrange transportation.  Those provisions will be announced by the end of August, but for now you must prepare for the necessity of getting there on your own.  Current recommendations for arriving start at 10:00 (!), and indicate a deadline for being in your seat by no later than 3:00.   There will be a program of music and other activities to help this time be more joyful.  
Because they are so scarce, tickets will be assigned individually and by name.  Therefore, each individual who desires a ticket must make an individual request.  For each request that we are able to fulfill, only one ticket will be given.  This means, for example, that if you and your spouse both want to attend, each must make a separate request.  If your family gets fewer tickets than you have members who want to attend, you will know then how I feel right now!  Your request also must affirm that, if given a ticket, you yourself will attend the Papal Mass.  If you are later prevented from using the ticket, the honorable and appropriate action would be to return it to the rectory. 
Please submit your individual ticket request in writing, by a letter addressed to me, mailed or delivered to the rectory; OR by email at reception@stbernadetteschurch.org with “Papal Mass” and your name on the subject line.  Please include an explanation of why you want to attend the Mass, and how you your presence at this sacred event would represent our parish well.  It almost goes without saying that making a request does not guarantee a ticket.
Requests must be received by close of business Friday, August 28, and we will notify only those who are awarded tickets.  Do not despair if you hear nothing; last time we had a Papal Mass, additional tickets became available up to the very day before the Mass!  
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.   

Monsignor Smith

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