Monday, September 22, 2008
"Oh, he's THAT Fr. Gismondi!"
I had heard this account from others, but being directed to it in print by a commenter, it gives me great pleasure to share it here with other readers. Fr. Carl is a most level-headed young priest, who seems to know quite well how to handle himself both diplomatically and, shall we say, athletically. I'm sure we shall all reflect upon this account with some satisfaction, as we sing liturgical compline with Fr. Gismondi this evening.
"[This] cautionary tale involves my attendance at a High Mass on St. Peter's day at which the celebrant was a newly-ordained priest of The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter - the Latin Mass chaplains to the Archdiocese of Melbourne. A beautiful Mass with a small but expert choir which chanted the Propers according to the Liber Usualis and led the congregation in the chant of the Kyrie, Gloria, and Credo.
At Communion, I was happily on my knees amongst the empty pews distracted by the detritus abandoned by the communicants queuing in the central aisle.
Suddenly, the Subdeacon (Fr Carl Gismondi FSSP) leaped from the altar step and chased a communicant along the Epistle side aisle. He was aided and abetted by two laymen (both of Marine stature if not training) who blocked the path of the fleeing young man. Fr Carl immobilized him until the younger of the other two had him in a headlock and the trio marched him out to the narthex.
Such undignified behaviour! The cause?? Fr Gismondi had noticed that the young man, having received Communion in his mouth - the FSSP adheres to the 1962 RULES as well as the RITES - put his hand to his mouth and, seeing Fr Carl looking at him, feigned a cough. Fr Carl looked away and then straight back to see the fellow removing the Host from his mouth. Then the chase was on!
No one is quite sure what the full motive behind the action was, but we may be fairly sure that he wasn't taking the Sacrament home to his sick mum.
The Host was retrieved but whether any action was taken was not announced."