It was Sunday. My family and I arrived early at the Cathedral. Arriving early for Church is not something we make a habit of doing. As we killed some time by looking around the plaza, I spotted it. A single object of crimson moving across the courtyard. No one else seemed to notice. I motioned to my wife. After a moment of confusion, my wife, 5 kids, mother-in-law, and myself began to converge on the red-clad figure. It must have been a sight! The main part of the massive courtyard was nearly empty. From one side, the Archbishop crossed. From his two o'clock came the onslaught of our Catholic groupie family on a mission to intercept him... and that we did. Those who visit this blog with any regularity know that there are a handful of archbishops and cardinals in the United States of whom I am a huge fan. Archbishop Gomez is one of those men.
I did not get to say much to him. He was friendly and gracious. He was very interested that my mother-in-law is from Texas, as that was his last cathedra, and you could see his love of Texas in his face upon finding out that she was from the Lone Star State. No, I did not get to ask him deep questions of theology or the Church. What I received was far better... he blessed each of my children. We didn't need to ask him. He knew what was most important, and in an instant, I did as well. I will continue to watch the good archbishop and his shepherding of the largest flock on these shores and I will continue to post about it here. Now, however, my previous speculations that he is a deeply prayerful man are no longer hypotheses. I have seen Christ in him, and I pray God will use him mightily to "bring renewal to the Church of Los Angeles", as he referenced in his homily that morning.