The rector had requested that the nine seminarians "attend the Mass." This morning my suspicions after the response to his request were confirmed: they are serving this evening for His Holiness Pope Francis when he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass.
They are still a bit shell-shocked, but happy and excited, as well.
Here is the entire group of nine:
And here are the seminarians for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois:
One might say that's not a bad Christmas present.