Just Hanging Out in Denver

It’s not often that I find myself sandwiched between two archbishops, but I did Friday night, when I had the privilege of serving as deacon for a Mass concelebrated by Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez and Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila.

The occasion was the closing liturgy for the 2013 Catholic Media Conference in Denver.

Archbishop Gomez was the keynote speaker for the Catholic Press awards and dinner that followed the Mass, and spoke eloquently and compellingly about an issue close to his heart, immigration—reminding us that Pope Francis is himself the son of immigrants.

It was a memorable evening. Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia was my dinner companion and somehow managed to hold it all together when the suspense of the awards ceremony became too much for her.

ONE magazine took a whopping 22 awards, including First Place for General Excellence (Mission Magazines).

America Magazine took First Place for Best Coverage of the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II’s Opening, which included contributions from Ladislas Orsy, Martin Marty, Dolores R. Leckey, Gerald O’Collins, Catherine E. Clifford…and Your Humble Blogger.  Read about it in “An Ongoing Renewal” from last fall.

And the collection of homilies, “Hungry and You Fed Me: Homilists for the Homeless,” took home two prizes: Second Place for Small Publishers, and Third Place among Books on Liturgy. James Martin and Richard Rohr were the marquee names among the contributors (which, incredibly, also included Your Humble Blogger) assembled by Deacon James Knipper for this ambitious project, which was created to raise money for several charities in New Jersey.

The judges wrote:

A fine compilation and true collaboration on the part of some exceptional homilists. Driven by the issue and awareness of homelessness, it is a remarkable array of moving homilies which touch any member of the Christian community.

Congrats!