No, it’s not a hoax, please be at Mass with the pope
In June 1987 Deacon Roy Cormier Sr. thought he was on the receiving end of a hoax. Back before caller ID on telephones he had received a call from someone who said he was calling to ask Deacon Cormier to proclaim the Gospel at the Papal Mass in San Antonio in September. Pope John Paul II was making a visit to the United States and visiting San Antonio where he would be giving a few talks and celebrating Mass. Deacon Cormier, a deacon at St. Mary Church, Port Arthur, never thought out of all the deacons in Texas he would be asked to be a part of the Mass so he thought the request was a joke. Until he received the next call that set the date and time of a practice session. He said he wanted to confirm the information with the director of the diocesan Office of Worship but had to wait weeks because she was out of the diocese.
At the Mass in San Antonio Deacon Cormier said the processional pace was slow because the Holy Father greeted as many people as he could. Then, when he looked out during the opening prayer at the 300,000 assembled, “It took all I had to hold back the tears,” he said.
Others from the Beaumont Diocese were also involved in the Papal Mass including Father Richard DeStefano as a master of ceremony and Dominican Sister Virgil Kummer as cantor. Other diocesan representatives met with the pope in other sessions he had while he was in the U.S. including priests in Florida, Catholic school educators, African Americans and youth in New Orleans, deacons in Detroit, seminarians in San Antonio and laity in California.