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.