Holy Thursday tradition

First slide
First slide
Previous Next

Hours before the beauty, and the crowds, of the April 2 Holy Thursday Chrism Mass began at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, a tradition that goes back further than many priests can remember took place in the St. Thomas More Cathedral School cafeteria.

Dozens of eggs were scrambled, pounds of bacon and scrapple were cooked and coffee was prepared. Diocesan seminarians, and Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde, cooked and served breakfast to the priests of the diocese.

Oblate Father Mark S. Mealey, vicar general for administration and moderator of the curia, said he's been coming to the breakfast for years. He is not sure when it started, but he does enjoy it.

"It's wonderful that priests get together with seminarians on Holy Thursday and make a connection," he said.

At around 8 a.m., seminarians donned aprons and began to cook. It's a controlled chaos in the kitchen and it was all managed by Father Joel D. Jaffe, Arlington diocesan vocations director, and Administrative Assistant Anne-Marie Minnis.

But the moment most anticipated was when Bishop Loverde entered the kitchen, put on an apron and chef's hat and began to scramble eggs.

After grace, priests and seminarians queued up and waited for the bishop to drop mounds of eggs and bacon into their waiting plates.

Seminarians and priests loved the camaraderie and food.

Father Jerry A. Wooton, in residence at St. John the Beloved Church in McLean, said he comes to meet the men in the diocesan seminaries and to renew old friendships.

Jacob Mason, first year seminarian at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., said, "I think it's great. It's the visible point of unity."

Deacon Richard Miserendino is in his final year of seminary formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

"It's a beautiful opportunity to come together," he said. "You come together for both worship and fellowship."

As the men sat down to eat, an announcement was made reminding everyone to eat up and drink plenty of liquids and be vested for the Chrism Mass by 10 a.m. It was going to be a busy day.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015