Published: April 24, 2008
Deacon Bill Garrett
Among the logistical challenges for those from Atlanta who attended the papal Mass in New York City was figuring out how to get from Yankee Stadium to the airport. With less than two hours between the scheduled end time of the Mass and the flight departure and the inability to bring a private vehicle anywhere near the stadium, my wife and I decided to pack very light for our short weekend in New York City. As we arrived at Yankee Stadium some three hours before Mass was to begin, it was evident that most of our fellow 64,000 attendees were also traveling light—not just in terms of what they physically carried into the Mass with them, but also seemingly not burdened by the normal issues of life. Frequently when we attend Mass on Sunday, we arrive just before the service begins, have trouble concentrating for the hour of worship and leave immediately afterward to get on with our day. On this Sunday not only did people arrive early, but nearly all stayed through the two-and-a-half-hour Mass. Everyone was attentive to the message of the pope and seemed to hope that the Mass would not end. As our Delta flight approached Hartsfield-Jackson just before midnight, I was struck by the beauty of the skyline of Atlanta on the clear evening. I was also deeply aware that the responsibility of spreading the light of the message of Pope Benedict had been passed to each of us who were inspired by his words and presence.
Deacon Bill Garrett attended the Yankee Stadium Mass with his wife, Susan, and his mother, Elizabeth. He serves at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Atlanta, and All Saints Church, Dunwoody. He is president of the Mercy Foundation at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Atlanta.