I may be Catholic, but many of my associates from work and college are not. Nonetheless, they still get married, believe it or not. And as such, I get invited to these weddings.
It’s not what I am used to, of course. There is something to be said for the Catholic rite, which eliminates a ton (though not all) of the stupidity you find in much modern wedding ceremonies. So really, I am unaccustomed to non-Catholic weddings, and even less so to weddings that don’t mention God at all.
That was the case here; he’s an atheist and she (the coworker) more or less sorta is. On many important issues, we disagree. But we acknowledge the goodwill of the other; Pope Francis would, I hope, be proud.
Last weekend was unpleasant. There was the surprise call to play a wedding. One of my cantors didn’t show for practice. My stomach was bothering me, forcing me to leave Mass (and hold it up for a couple minutes) and cancel out of a friend’s birthday party. The Bears were skunked. The fill-in priest didn’t show at one of my Spanish Masses, forcing the deacon to hold an impromptu Communion service. (The priest is in his 80s; we’re hoping he just forgot and is OK but haven’t heard yet.)
But amid all that, there was a pleasant blip that nearly wiped it all out. I stopped at home between Saturday Masses to take medication for my tummy. Stupid tummy. I was throwing some stuff in the car when a minivan pulled into the driveway.
It opened to reveal a high school friend, his wife, and their two kids. They were at Mass nearby and just happened to see me, so they decided to stop and visit, much to my delight.
Their 2-year-old was chipper and chatty. Their baby, not so much. The mom and dad and I quickly caught up on everything going on as the kids got bored because the grownups were talking.
It couldn’t have lasted more than 10 minutes. Literally, it couldn’t, because the impatient 2-year-old started yelling, “Bye!” repeatedly, forcing their parents’ hand.
It’s a simple thing, I know. Perhaps even mundane. But in a weekend that was miserable, this helped me feel much, much better than grouchy.
In the morning, I received the e-mail, as did many others. A colleague was soon to become a former colleague, off to some new something-or-other — what it was, she didn’t specify.
My first reaction, in a sense, was a sigh of relief. Same with many others. And then there was a little bit of guilt.
The stepsister of my high-school friend’s wife was killed a few days ago in a domestic murder-suicide. It’s senseless and enraging and awful and all sorts of other things. Please pray for her soul and the soul of the man who killed her, as well as the families, who will have a hell of a time piecing all this together.
A few months ago, I made the decision that at some point, I wanted to do sacred music full time. And a couple months ago, a job came up that would have put me closer to that goal. It was a great parish. I went for it with all my effort. I interviewed well. Impressed people.
Still didn’t get it.
Sorry, folks. I’ve been radio-silent lately because I’m in the midst of some potentially life-changing stuff. I will post when I can, but I have to work this stuff out.
Please pray for me as I figure everything out. Hopefully I’ll have an update soon.
I understand, of course, why the Church is kind of paranoid about bad news in regards to sex abuse. We all get that. But I am beginning to wonder whether some of their safeguards are designed more for CYA than actually being effective at preventing abuse.
Let me give you a personal example.