October 4th is the feast day for the humble and loving St. Francis. To celebrate, I decided to go to the mass in his honor at St. Teresa's in Providence.
When I first got there, about 15 minutes before the mass was to begin, all the doors to the sanctuary were locked. There was a car in the driveway, and a man waiting outside a side door. Eventually, we figured out that the door to the basement was open, and it turned out that the mass was going to be held in a tiny chapel in the lower level. Fr. Ray was already in there.
Over the course of the next few minutes, several people filed in. They were mostly spanish speaking, so Fr. Ray did the mass bilingually. We sang a simple hymn. We listened to the readings from Galatians and John. We sat in a circle and shared, as the spirit moved us, on what we found inspirational in the person of this holy, simple, servant of God.
I am not sure why, but I started bawling again. It is almost embarassing, really. I get a little kick of the Holy Spirit and the waterworks just start.
Emmett was with me this morning. We brought some markers and paper for him to draw with. I was worried he would be distracting to the folks there, since the room was so small. But no. He was quiet and sweet and drew a very detailed picture of the church, complete with the parking lot and Fr. Ray's car. He even included the community garden across the street.
After the service I showed it to Fr. Ray.
We were very welcomed, even though we didn't speak spanish. During the peace, which I normally find very uncomfortable, we all felt like old friends. I even got a few hugs.
It was a beautiful morning. And it felt fitting to be celebrating St. Francis is St. Teresa's, which is, apparently, the poorest parish in RI.
It sure felt rich today.