Friday, June 1, 2012

O'Dea Graduation Mass {St. James Cathedral}

One of the sweetest text messages I've received in quite some time came late at night last week from our Godson/nephew Niko:
Aunt Bridget,  I have 1 extra ticket to my graduation its at St James cathedral on may 30th at 7 would you like to come? !   Arrive early cause it'll be hard to park probably
Tim wholeheartedly endorsed my attendance, and so I made plans for the 90 mile trip to Seattle for Niko's graduation.

By the time I had parked and entered, St. James Cathedral was packed for the admit-by-ticket-only O'Dea Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation.  I looked around and saw only a sea of people and not a single open seat in the main body of the cathedral.  There were a hundred or more open seats~reserved for the guests of honor, the 2012 graduating class from the all boys' high school.  But just beyond the graduates' rows, in the choir loft, were a few open seats.  I made haste for the first open chair I spotted, and had essentially a front row seat in the back, elevated for a prime viewpoint.

O'Dea Choir

During the opening procession, I kept my eyes peeled for Niko as the stream of maroon caps and gowns rounded the main altar and flowed into their assigned rows.  "Focus! focus!" I told myself, "Keep an eye out for Niko so you'll know which row he's in."  Once they were seated and facing the main altar, I would never be able to pick Niko out from the crowd.  "AGH! You missed a few... is that him?  Is THAT him?  Focus!"  I was determined to pinpoint his location in the class.  Suddenly he came into view, and then came closer and closer, skipping the seat assignment all together and heading into the choir loft! Unbeknownst to me, Niko was among the graduates who would be participating in the boys' choir.  You can imagine my profound excitement and inexpressible joy to be sitting only a few feet from Niko!  Praise God!

Congratulations, Niko!

The Mass, sung beautifully by Niko and his choir, celebrated reverently and solemnly be Rev. Ryan, reached its apex when Jesus Himself came to us in Holy Communion (as always).  What a Great Guest to have at your high school graduation and in your very being!  We prayed for all past graduates of O'Dea High School, which includes our current (outgoing) pastor, Fr. Qui Thac Nguyen and our incoming (July) priest Fr. Altenhofen, as well as my dear Dad, who always remembers his days at O'Dea with a smile.

My family of origin celebrating Niko's graduation from O'Dea:
Dad, Peter John, Grandma O'D, me, Molly, and Mom

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