Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete (1941-2014), was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, majored in physics and aerospace science at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and was engaged to be married when “the call” came.
He was ordained in 1973 at the age of 32, became an assistant to the archbishop of Washington, and over time became close friends with both Pope John Paul II Pope Benedict XVI.
Notoriously rumpled, perpetually late, a negligent returner of phone calls and emails, Monsignor chain-smoked, loved food, drink, and good conversation, and had a wicked sense of humor.
Author Michael Sean Winters tells the story of how Albacete, Albacete’s beloved brother Manuel, and a third guest once came to a Washington DC restaurant at which Winters was a server during the Triduum. “When all three of them ordered lamb chops, I interjected. ‘You can’t have lamb chops – it’s Good Friday.’ Without missing a beat, Lorenzo said, ‘Oh, Mike, [he was the only person who ever called me ‘Mike’], we had an ancestor who died fighting in the Crusades and have a dispensation in perpetuity.’ ”