Sunday, February 08, 2009


It was a Saturday morning, back in my early teen years. Being an altar boy, I was on call. The phone rang and I picked it up. It was Father Cinque.

“Joe? Can you come with us today to sell raffle tickets at the Coram Woolworth’s?”

I snapped to attention. Mom could tell if a priest or nun were on the other end of the phone, a sudden heavenly alert would come over the house, and Mom.

“Yes, Father.” Even though I didn’t want to, I figured it was better than being hounded all day by Mom for saying ‘No’ to a priest.

Father’s car pulls up and I climb in the back seat with two other altar boys who were dumb enough to get recruited along with me. We pick up a few more and go to the shopping center. While selling the raffle tickets, the priest looks at his watch and announces: “Time’s up!” Off we go and pile in to his 4-door sedan. Cruising along Rte. 454, we stop at one light. Father looks around, no one is near us, zoom, through the red light he goes! The next red light we come to, again he scans the area. Satisfied, he pops the light once more! I’m looking at him in wonderment. OK, I guess priests don’t have to stop for lights. The third light is red, he stops, I look around and tell him to go!

Getting home, I relate the experience to my mother. Mom, a prayerful soul, (She got that way when I turned 1 years old) smacks me in the head and tells me not to lie about priests. “If you didn’t want to go this morning, you should have said so. Now get out of my sight, you disgust me!”

Feeling hurt, but emotionally and physically, I retreat to my room, vowing vengeance. I would run away from home, and when they find me, I’d be starved to death, and it would be on the conscience of Mom and the priest! The only thing that saved me form it all was Mom asked if I wanted lunch.

Please remember DD, and all those that need our prayers.

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