Going Catholic, part 3

Father Enda has a teeny, tiny calendar that he carries in his pocket. It fits into the palm of his hand. I could never write small enough or neatly enough to use one of those things, but he can. Every space is filled, even going up the sides. He pulled out the calendar one Sunday as I was leaving and asked if I’d like to meet. This was late March 2011.

The parish office is in an old house, so it’s very homey. We met in something like a sitting room.

“So, I’ve noticed you’ve been visiting us. Do you know what compelled you?” he asked.

“The short answer is that my mother died,” I said.

“I’m so sorry,” he said.

We talked for about an hour. He asked about my previous church experience, about how I met my husband, about our kids. He told me a little bit about his life in the priesthood.

“I don’t know what you’re looking for, and maybe you don’t yet either,” he said. “It may be Catholicism, it may not. It may be St. Mary’s, it may not. I don’t know.”

He asked what I’d liked about the service. I told him the crucifix, which surprised me. I said that when I’d been at a family member’s church that didn’t have one, I missed it.

“Why do you think that is?” Father Enda asked.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Perhaps you should pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you why you found the crucifix so meaningful,” he said.

He asked if I had any questions. I did. I told him that I knew I couldn’t go forward for Communion but that some people, especially little kids, did this thing where they crossed their arms and received some kind of a blessing. He explained how it worked and that it was open to everyone.

For the next year, that’s what I did, crossed my arms over my chest like a little kid and went forward to receive a blessing.

Comments

  1. 🙂
    “I don’t know what you’re looking for, and maybe you don’t yet either.” I love the PERMISSION to not know. Do we extend this to each other? Do we allow it in ourselves as we try to assist each other, to not have the answers? I feel I’ve crossed my arms and been blessed in listening in on your conversation, Megan.

  2. Okay, here is my take on this portion of Megan’s story. You’ll find that I am not nearly as succinct as she is. http://johnwillome.wordpress.com

  3. I love that you are writing this! What wonderful questions Father Enda asked…how different from what a Protestant minister would ask.

  4. This reads like a very interesting spiritual memoir. Keep going. Dig deeper. 🙂

  5. i understand that “not knowing-knowing.”

  6. And I’m guessing a blessing is exactly what you needed for that year, too. And I loved that he noticed you, sought you out, talked to you like a real person, not a potential new member…really cool. Wise guy – in the best sense of that phrase.

  7. I went back and read part two and that image of you bowing low in the pew and weeping made me cry. I’m so glad you have found this home for your heart, Megan.

  8. Cross your arms and come like a little kid…

  9. Oh, oh I love this, Megan…I’m going to read parts 1 and 2 right now!

  10. So glad you are writing this. I’ll have to message you privately and share some of my thoughts with you–too personal for this space. Love you.

  11. I don’t have much to say, except I have been curiously involved with your posts thus far about going Catholic.

    Thank you for them.

  12. Two things:

    1 — I love that the priest suggested that you ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

    2 — I love that you went forward, as a child.

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