However, now that details of the Holy Father's itinerary have been published, and the ticket allocations for each parish have been dished out, I sense more excitement about the visit. This is despite attempts to put a dampener on the events by focussing on the cost of the tickets. Leutgeb has countered that hoary old chestnut very adroitly.
Our parish's ticket allocation for Birmingham has been snapped up, and the Hyde Park tickets are pretty much all gone, so our Parish Priest is busy trying to get hold of spares from other parishes.
Stuart McCullough alerted people to the fact that Fr. Armand de Malleray, FSSP is encouraging people without tickets for the Hyde Park event to turn up to a different part of the park and pray the Rosary, accompanied by some of the priests from the FSSP. There are details given on their own website.
I definitely won't be able to go to either event - I was doubtful before, but my recent ligament injury has confirmed it - though I still hope to be able to go and line up along a route somewhere to wave a flag. The mood has changed, and the organisers of the Papal visit are encouraging the faithful to line the streets, while the use of the popemobile will help to make the Holy Father more visible.
Our parish newsletter has been giving suggestions for how we can prepare for the Holy Father's visit, and I was delighted to see that the FSSP have much the same idea:
"...please make sure you devote special time to pray for the spiritual success of Pope Benedict’s visit. Let us not underestimate the great power of prayer and of mortification. This is a unique opportunity. Our Blessed Lord surely expects all souls of good will to intensify their prayers for His Vicar on earth as he is about to visit Our Lady’s Dowry."