St. Peter's Cathedral, Belfast
Yours Truly is in Ireland for New Year's.
I attended an evening Mass yesterday in this glorious Cathedral that sits in the western half of a city neatly and sometimes violently divided between Catholics and Protestants. The priest was young, the liturgy impeccable, the serice packed with young, old, and families, and the interior of this lovely place is the most elegant cathedral interior I have ever seen.
The rest of the evening was spent ferrying drunken questions and answers among presbyterians and Church of Irelanders on the staircase at a late New Year's Eve party ("She's a Theology Student! To the Lions!") One lovely fellow would simply come and go among his fellow interlocutors throughout the night, exclaiming over and over again that the Catholic Church was the only way to Heaven. Such times are a Blessing; I am reminded of how alive and well spiritual issues are in the hearts and minds of young people the world over, and I am challenged to work harder to "provide an answer" for the bit of hope that God blessedly keeps alive in my own heart. I was also encouraged by the state of ecumenism in this part of the world, and was reminded just how far Showing Up For Mass and Mentioning Jesus at a Cocktail party can go...