On Sunday morning I returned to St. Ignatius Cathedral, this time for the first Mass of one of the newly-ordained priests. I had trouble finding the entrance to the subway so I was a few minutes late, but got there just in time to [totally conspicuously] join the procession of priests and altar servers entering the church. While not as crowded as the day before, there were still a lot of people – whether they were the usual Sunday crowd or came for this priest, I don’t know.
I was really happy that Fr. Zhao told me about this Mass because, in addition to being a brand new baby priest, this man has absolutely textbook-perfect Mandarin, spoken slowly, clearly, and with exaggerated tones. (This was good, as Mass was almost two hours long and his homily alone was over 40 minutes.)
At the end of Mass, the priest’s older brother – who is also a priest – got up and addressed the congregation for a few minutes. They both expressed profuse thanks towards their father, who was in attendance. Then, once Mass was over, a crowd of people gathered around the father to hug him, shake his hands, and generally express congratulations and gratitude. Everyone was crying; it was really an incredible experience.
I took the subway from the cathedral back to the Old City Town, where I had plans to meet my roommate’s sister. Leinira and Jandira came to China at the same time on the same scholarship to study different things at different universities. Anyway, we had some things to hand off to each other and I thought it would be cool to meet my 姐姐s 妹妹 (older sister’s younger sister).
Anyway, the whole thing did not go as planned. Specifically – she arrived two hours late. I wasn’t expecting such a delay, so I spent the whole time standing around, not even exploring the nearby gardens or anything. I did get a Blizzard at a nearby DQ and eat a plate full of delicious 小笼包 (rice dumplings filled with ground pork and soup), but it was still largely a waste of the afternoon.
When she finally got there, we had a drink together, looked around for some postcards, and then parted ways. I was tired and frustrated, so I went back to my hostel for a nap and some 洗头发 (hair-washing).