Father James C. Hinkle, parochial vicar of St. Theresa Church
in Ashburn, saw Pope Francis a number of times while studying
at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He saw him
from a distance during his weekly audiences, and even met the
pontiff up close on one occasion. But tomorrow - the pope's
second day in the United States - will be like nothing he's
Father Hinkle is one of 57 Arlington diocesan priests
concelebrating alongside Pope Francis during the canonization
Mass of Blessed Junípero Serra. The Mass will be
outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate
Conception in Washington.
"It's a truly incredible opportunity to concelebrate the
sacrifice of the Mass with a pope," said Father Hinkle this
afternoon. "I'm excited to hear what his message will be to
the people here."
Father Hinkle studied Spanish in high school and seminary, so
he hopes to follow along reasonably well during the Mass,
which will be in the Argentine pope's native Spanish.
"It will be tricky, but I'll do my best," he said.
Like many of the 25,000 people attending the papal Mass,
Father Hinkle will swipe his Smartrip card and ride the Metro
to the shrine.
Father Hinkle was ordained last year, and has now celebrated
a good number of Masses. This one, however, will be different
in many ways, and he'll be wearing special attire.
"We've been asked to wear an alb and white stole," said
Father Hinkle. An alb is a full-length white ecclesiastical
vestment; the stole is composed of a strip of material,
several inches wide, which is worn around the neck.
"And I'm going to wear well-polished shoes," Father Hinkle