A couple weeks ago, we found out that my brother Tim, a seminarian, would be serving Mass for the Holy Father in the Vatican on January 1st with his class from the Pontifical College Josephinum! What an honor for his class to have while on their trip to Rome!
But... an even bigger surprise was when we woke up to Tim's Facebook message that stated, "Wow. Serving for the Holy Father this morning was truly amazing. All the pilgrims in Saint Peter's were inspiring. We waited in the chapel of Michelangelo's Pieta (behind the glass) and then he came in and greeted each of us. I had the honor of holding his mitre during the Mass."
So, not only would he be helping to serve at the Mass, but actually doing a specific job - holding the Pope's mitre!!! that's the pointy hat, for all you non-Catholics out there. The Pope wears it only during specific parts of the Mass, so it actually is a real job, having to bring it up and take it back again. Tim didn't actually place it on Pope Francis's head - he handed it off to the person who did that part.
So, we watched the video of the Mass by streaming it on EWTN. Tim was pretty much right behind the Holy Father during both the processional and recessional! Here is a photo I snapped of the TV with my camera (yes, lame, I know):
He is the one on the left, behind Pope Francis, next to one of those guys who look like the secret service. When they recessed out of the basilica after Mass, Only about six people turned and followed the Pope off to the side while all the other seminarians, priests, and bishops filed out another way. He really got to play a special part so close to the Pope!
Here are some screen shots that Chris captured from the video stream:
This is the front view of the same thing - him coming around the altar to get or give the mitre:
And in this one, if you look at all the men in the sanctuary, he is the one second farthest to the left of the image:
Here he is after the recessional - the one at the far right with the yellow-fringed thingy which I assume he had in order to hold the mitre without touching it?