Tonight I had supper with one of the ten smartest people I know.
A parish priest from St. Paul.
This is one of the most highly intelligent, but also one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met.
We had grilled filet mignon which I had marinated in garlic, lemon and olive oil, and green salad with a touch of blue cheese with well toasted sourdough bread slices and a ’97 Nebbiolo.
The conversation revolved around many issues both foreign and domestic.
It was great to have such stimulating discussion. When not in Rome… these are my real chances!
This is a fellow who can move from the Schoenberg’s use of the tone row, to quoting Baudelaire in French from memory, to commenting on details of an Athenian red figure vase in the NY Met, to quoting Aristophanes in Greek, to discussing novels by Alan Furst and and latest editorials in three major newspapers. Last night we watched an Alfred Hitchcock film and have discussed it after and again today, down to the level of its sources and the screenplay.
I have both served Mass for him, this week, and concelebrated (Novus Ordo) with him in the Sabine chapel. [It is good for priests to serve Mass at least occasionally.] Entirely in Latin, of course.
What a great thing to be able to have a Novus Ordo Mass, with readings, everything, entirely in Latin without the slightest hesitation or self-consciousness… since our grasp of spoken Latin is so comfortable.
This priest, this great gentleman, is a living icon of what is possible for culture in a priest.