16 August 2011

The Final Piece

The last remnants of my childhood passed away into oblivion this afternoon.  The final sign, the ultimate realization that I am no longer a child, that my home is no longer a place necessarily connected with the years of my childhood entered irrevocably into my consciousness in the form of a locked door.

Starved for silence after 10 days of vacation, I drove to my local parish.  Neil Padden, OFM baptized me in this church on December 23, 1984, the feast of John Kanty.  I received my first communion there in the second grade. There I also received my Confirmation. I worked at the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption for innumerable hours during my grammar school years, answering phones and taking mass intentions.  One of the duties of the desk workers was to lock up the Church in the early evening.  2:00 pm on Sundays, after the 5:30 mass on Saturdays and 6:00 pm (as the Angelus bells began to ring) Monday through Friday.

And today, at 4:30, I tried the front door of the church, breviary in hand, a religious looking for the Presence and found it locked.

I eventually found a place to pray -- in the chapel of another parish -- but the realization that my childhood Church isn't open all the time anymore made quite an impression.  Childish to be shocked on my part, really.  Maybe I am still a kid.

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