Friday, June 04, 2010

En Vivo desde Calle Ocho

Fullvid of Tuesday's multi-lingual installation might be up and running on-demand, but earlier tonight saw the freshly-returned Archbishop Tom Wenski of Miami preside at his first Misa hispanohablante since taking the reins of his 1.3 million-member hometown church: an evening liturgy with the local Hispanic ecclesial movements.

Among many other attributes, it's worth noting that in South Florida's demographic heart -- Miami-Dade, the nation's seventh-largest metropolitan area -- the first language for a majority of the population isn't English, but Spanish... and lest anyone's in need of further exposure to the burgeoning bloc soon to become the majority of the Stateside church (i.e. the lot of us), here's video of tonight's liturgy:

To recall a prior note, a friend of Wenski's once observed that the archbishop "speaks, thinks, curses and prays in (strongly Cuban-accented) Spanish."

Along these lines, the preacher at his first Mass as a priest was the legendary padrino of the exile community: Miami's retired auxiliary, Bishop Agustin Román, of whom one local said the other day, "we're living in the presence of a saint."

In a touching turn of history, as the doors of St Mary's Cathedral opened to the first native-son archbishop on Tuesday, Román, now 82, was waiting with the crucifix.

Given the intense Cuban presence in the local church, summer's end brings another major date on Wenski's "welcome home" tour: the 8 September feast of the island's patroness, the Caridad de Cobre, Our Lady of Charity, which invariably fills up the 20,000-plus seats in the city's basketball arena. (The image's 400th anniversary is already being awaited come 2013.)

And not to leave Miami's other major diaspora out, a touch of Kreyole:

If you're in South Florida and want a preview of the Second Coming, suffice it to say, go to Little Haiti on Sunday morning.