Missing Mass

From the March 2015 Print Edition

In our family, we went to Mass every blessed Sunday of the year, and here and there you would have to go to Mass during the week because of funerals or weddings or Days of Obligation or Masses to Open the School Year or Masses in Memory of the Faithful Departed. So by the time I was fourteen years . . . . Continue Reading »

October 27

From the January 2015 Print Edition

You know what I remember first about my daughter being born? Weirdly, not the miracle of it, or the bruised tender extraordinary Courage of my wife, or the eerie alien glare of the birthing room, Or the cheerful doctor chatting amiably as she hauled out our girl, But my daughter staring at me, from . . . . Continue Reading »

The Father Cals

From the June/July 2014 Print Edition

Or here’s a story. One time when I was an altar boy A missionary priest arrived at our parish to conduct A retreat. He was sort of famous and even us cynics Among the altar corps were interested. Competition Arose as to who would be his go-to server; we drew Straws for it and someone joked . . . . Continue Reading »

Te Absolvo

From the May 2014 Print Edition

Of course we remember everything that ever happened to us.Sure we do. We can easily make a concerted effort to forget,And successfully forget from Levels One through Eight, butYou remember, somehow—at the cellular or molecular levelPerhaps, where shame and embarrassment are in cold . . . . Continue Reading »

1945

From the February 2014 Print Edition

Here is my dad in Manila. He is twenty-three years old.He is a master sergeant. His task is to read photographsAnd maps and charts and interviews with local plantersAnd residents in areas which the armies of the AllianceWish to liberate from the armies of the empire of . . . . Continue Reading »

My First Ordination

From the November 2013 Print Edition

My first date with the sweet, wild woman who eventually married me was as follows: We drove two hundred miles from Boston, at speeds exceeding the speed limit, because as usual we started late, and also because someone forgot her dress, which entailed retrieving it again at shocking rates of speed, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Wood Duck

From the October 2013 Print Edition

One time I was driving very slowly with my oldest living brother Through an arboretum he loves, where there are ponds and foxes And owls and kingfishers, and all sorts of other holy amazements, And I asked him what was up with his wicked cancers, how much Pain was he in and what were his chances . . . . Continue Reading »