Scenes from a Parish

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The weekday Mass at 6 a.m.
brings old folks out
from bungalows
around the church.
They move like caterpillars
down sidewalks,
some with canes,
some on walkers.

Young Father Doyle says the Mass
and is renowned for giving
homilies on weekdays
superior to homilies
heard in other churches
even on a Sunday.

After Mass, he goes back
to the rectory to care
for a mother older than
most of his congregants.
A gracious lady, his mother
cannot move or talk
because of a stroke.

But every Sunday at noon,
when the church is overflowing
with people wanting Mass to start,
Father Doyle, in full vestments,
wheels his mother in a lump
down the middle aisle
and lifts her like a chalice
and places her in the front pew
before he ascends to the altar.

Sometimes at night,
when his mother is finally asleep,
he returns to the Church
and rehearses in the dark
three hymns she long ago
asked him to sing at her funeral.

He practices the hymns
because the doctor said
she could go at any time
and when that time comes,
he doesn't want to miss a note.
The last thing she ever said was
"Son, I'll be listening."

- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


Powered by Blogger.