(Editor’s note: This cavalcade was originally printed on Sunday, April 8, 2007.)
For whatever reason, Christmas consistently seems to adumbrate Easter. It’s a abashment really, because that Easter is abundant added cogent than Christmas. Perhaps it’s a acceptable thing, though, that Easter charcoal somewhat in the background, because what all the activity has done to Christmas. Abounding bodies are too beat out from all the arcade and active about for Christmas to alike reflect on the acumen for the season.
For myself, though, Easter will consistently accept a appropriate meaning.
Back in January of 1980, I began dating Linda Masci, who would eventually become my wife. Afterwards several months, Easter popped up on the schedule, and she asked if I would accompany her to the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday night, the day afore Easter.
I accept to accept that, at the time, I had drifted somewhat abroad from organized religion, accessory abbey abandoned sporadically. But I had developed up in a Catholic domiciliary with religious parents, and I still had addicted memories of activity to Mass, abnormally on Easter. So, I agreed to go to the Vigil Mass with Linda and her parents.
Everything was activity accomplished until they anesthetized about the candles. As allotment of the Easter Vigil Mass, candles are lit and anesthetized about to anybody in the church.
As I was captivation my candle, I got absent for a moment and accidentally set a folio in my aria book on fire. It advance quickly, ambience blaze to the beard of the woman sitting in advanced of me. I bound abolished the folio blaze and luckily the blaze in the woman’s beard went out about immediately. In fact, the woman didn’t alike apprehend what had happened at first. But afterwards smelling the smoke, she angry about and gave me one of those looks.
I was ashamed to no end. Linda was mortified, apprehensive why she had arrive this idiot to Mass. And her parents looked on in shock and horror. I aloof capital to coil up and adumbrate somewhere.
But that wasn’t the end of things. Catholics can abandoned accept Communion if they’re chargeless of any sins. If you accomplish a sin, you’re declared to go to Confession to accept absolution from a priest. Abandoned then, should you accept Communion.
Finally it was time for Communion, and bodies started authoritative their way beyond the aisles against the chantry of the church.
Sitting at the end of the aisle, I got up as Linda’s parents began walking against me. Since I hadn’t been in abbey for a brace of months, I couldn’t go to Communion. But Linda’s dad didn’t apperceive this.
So, as we met at the end of the aisle, I motioned for him to go advanced of me. He motioned for me to go advanced of him. I motioned back. He motioned back. We were bound activity nowhere. Sensing that he was blind of my asperity and wouldn’t be giving up anytime soon, I assuredly absitively to arch for the chantry to accept Communion.
My abandoned achievement was that God had a faculty of amusement and got a bang out of the situation. Surely, he had to apprehend that I had no choice, Linda’s dad was a big guy and wouldn’t booty no for an answer. I artlessly had to go forth with what he wanted.
So, my aboriginal time aback in church, I had concluded up committing a above sin and about afire the abbey down. What a night!
Fortunately for me, though, that night started me activity to abbey on a approved basis. I had anticipation that I could go through activity on my own afterwards God’s absolution and begin out that I was wrong. I bare God in my life, and the best way to do that was through the Catholic Church.
Fortunately at the time, I met the backward Rev. Joseph Tamilowski, who was the pastor of St. Hyacinth’s Catholic Abbey in Monessen, area I was living. He was a actual affectionate and compassionate man who did abundant to advice me acquisition my way.
Ironically, he was afterwards transferred to St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Abbey in Uniontown, area Linda and I had confused anon afterwards the bearing of our son, Bryan. Father Joe died in the aboriginal 1990s, and we concluded up at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic, which has additionally had several admirable priests over the years, including the Rev. John Regoli, the Rev. Joe Bonafed and the Rev. Kenneth Zaccagini, who is the accepted pastor. Father Ken’s sermons every Sunday are account the amount of acceptance alone. They’re abounding of both amusement and wisdom.
So, I assumption all’s able-bodied that ends well. But I apperceive I’ll never balloon that alarming Easter Vigil Mass from abounding years ago.
Mark O’Keefe is the editor of the beat folio at Herald-Standard. He can be accomplished by email at mo’firstname.lastname@example.org, by buzz at 724-439-7569 or by approved mail at 8-18 Abbey St., Uniontown, Pa., 15401.
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