Before the final blessing during Pope Benedict XVI’s April 17 Mass in Washington, a deacon in the sanctuary told the assembled faithful that the pope would then impart an apostolic blessing on all articles the faithful had brought with them to Mass for that purpose. (He’ll do the same thing for Sunday’s Mass at Yankee Stadium, so forewarned is forearmed.)
But Pope Benedict also blessed some religious items too big to fit in a pocket or purse. At Nationals Park, he blessed the cornerstone of the new chapel of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., and the new cornerstone and tabernacle of Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School, scheduled to open later this year in Dumfries, Va. Those items were on a platform below the papal altar.
At Yankee Stadium, the pontiff intends to bless a cornerstone for the St. Patrick’s Cathedral “bicentennial garden” in Manhattan and a crucifix to be placed in the chapel of the St. John Neumann Seminary residence in the Bronx, part of the archdiocese’s St. Joseph’s Seminary complex, affectionately known as “Dunwoodie” after the neighborhood in which it’s located.