The making of a dream

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2005

I get into things and wonder how it happened. I do it in my life and in my writing. Sounds as though I consider my writing as though it should be classed as worthy of a Shakespeare type. Not so. Really! I love writing. Just please, continue to enjoy it. That pleases me. Today I have a good story for you. Here we go.

While at Hillcrest I met Father Patrick Golden. So many females lost out when Father Pat, as we who knew him called him, became a priest. What a doll! He was the pastor at St. Mary’s. To St. Mary’s came two seminarians for their training for the priesthood under Father Patrick. So to Hillcrest he brought them to meet me. No comments, please. Father enjoyed it, too. He never knew what I might say so he was always curious. In fact so was I. I’m a say what comes into my mind gal. I actually loved having these young handsome men come to see me. These young men were taking their seven years in the seminary very seriously. Father Pat held highest regard for them.

I’ll jump some here to where these young seminarians returned to the seminary for further study and training. Now the writing and calling began. I just loved them both. I guess an 88 year-old was a novelty.


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The years pass quickly (sometimes not) and one of my favorites was ready to shine. Didn’t give you names. They were Rob and Scott. Rob was leaving the nest and showing his plumage. This would be the first step-Deacon. After step two Father Rob would emerge. I told him the only thing he would not get was a confession from me. So came the invitations for the big celebration. King Rob had it all and so it was all his. Couldn’t be more deserving. I had a hand in all this, of course.

The church was his own parish. We traveled to the church where the ceremony was to be held. It was a most unusual building. No sign a church existed here. No cross, sign, statue or even a bust. A black clad man came to help me from the car. I like a church to look like a church and this was a long ground floor string of doors and posts at every door for a southern look. Quite like a good motel if you needed one. As people came and doors opened I saw many black clad men moving around inside so I figured if I needed my soul saved I came to the right place.

Big is a silly word for the size of the church. It was immense and looked like a union hall. I expected to hear a loud gavel banging for order and quiet. Jimmy Hoffa would have loved it. From both sides of this room eventually sat 1,000 people. If everyone brought a present all I can say is, &uot;Wow! I’ll take it.&uot; Three pulpits were spread across the gleaming floors between the east and west sitting areas and they filled quickly (the seats I mean). The Mass followed and it even felt extra holy. A monsignor and a bishop were now on the floor. He and monsignor and a good many priests came in a parade from the side all beautiful in their vestments. The Mass followed but a special Mass during which the bishop asked Rob 25 or 30 questions. All got an, &uot;I do.&uot; If marriage questions took that many we’d have a world of singles. The choir sang gloriously. So did we. Came a humorous touch in a short speech by monsignor. Communion was given by seven religious in robes. Communion was brought to me. Great to have pull, isn’t it? What you need is to be disabled.

Went on to Murphy Hall for food and to meet and give my blessing to Rob on achieving this honor. I loved it. We do it again in one year and Rob becomes Father Rob. I hope I am able to make it. Got a lot of years already (88.) Food was good. Priests were free for the day. Nuns were also present. When did Rob find time for them and study, too?

Florence Arena lives in Smithfield and writes an

occasional column

for the News-Herald.