I have been the lamest blogger ever this summer, especially since I have so much to blog about. We went to the two big closing events for the Year of the Priest. I will have to let you read what Pope Benedict said because I don't know Italian! I can tell you about the ceremonies themselves.
On Thursday night, there was the Vigil and Adoration and Benediction. Other than the program for the "vigil" being way too long, it was really impressive. There were thousands of priests there from everywhere. I seemed to notice lots of Latin Americans in particular. Adoration and Benediction were especially impressive. Almost all of the priests were kneeling on the cobblestones, and at a certain point the entire place was completely quiet just before Benediction.
The Mass the next day was also surprisingly reverent for such a big event. I think that it is clear that Pope Benedict is leaving his mark on the Church: faithful, thoughtful, prayerful. He is looking at things in the long term. One thing that I am very grateful for is that the seminarians seem to take it all for granted. That is a change for the good.