Well, I decided that I would attend the ordination, especially since I had never attended one before. Of course, it is not like they happen every day in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.
On my way up the steps into the Cathedral, I spotted Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who was at one time, in charge of the Spanish Center here in DC. He was greeted by a number of people on the way in. More about his Eminence later.
When I entered, one of the ushers asked if I had an invitation. Being an honest guy, I said no. Since all of the open seating was taken, I was asked to wait for a while. No problem. But it did make me aware of how small St. Matthew's really is. Finally, they sent me over to the right hand side (facing the altar), where I promptly took a seat and a program. (Two pages are scanned above for you.)
At 2pm, the procession began to enter St. Matthew's. I would estimate that there were over 150 priests and deacons, and apx. 12 Cardinals and Bishops, including Cardinal's Baum and McCarrick. (I may be off a bit on the Cardinal and Bishop count, but who's counting.) Although it was not the crowd that you might get on a Holy Thursday or Good Friday, it was none the less a good sized crowd.
Things moved along very smoothly with a nice homily by Archbishop Wuerl and wonderful music by the choir. The Apostolic Letter was nicely read by Mrs. Jane Golden Belford, Chancellor of the Archdiocese. Although I could not see everything, the program explained what would happen and why it was happening.
One interesting note was that Cardinal O'Malley did not process in or out with the other Cardinals and Bishops but with the priests and deacons.
As Bishop Knestout went through the congregation bestowing his blessing, you could see not only the happiness and joy, but there was this look of the utmost respect for this holy and faithful priest. In fact, one woman was so overcome with happiness and joy for his blessing, she began to cry.
Bishop Knestout gave a very nice thank you to his fellow bishops and priests but you could tell he was nervous. It must have been a real whirlwind of activity over the last few weeks.
From what I have heard in the past and seen today, I have to say that we in the Archdiocese are really blessed to have someone like Bishop Knestout.
Ad Multos Annos!