Archive for April 24th, 2012

and also with you

When I was 25 I applied for a job as parish secretary at St. Francis de Sales Church.  The pastor was Father David E. Noone, and the staff hired me while he was away in China.  He came back to the church, and to a new secretary.  We clicked and hit it off right away, and my years there were so valuable.  Father is a wonderful person in too many ways to get into here, but suffice it to say I’ve always looked up to and admired him.

As of April 20, he’s retired.  And not just retired, but moved to the (gasp) South. Ugh.

My father and I went to his last Mass, the Sunday after Easter.  I elbowed and excused my way into Father Noone’s communion line.  I’ll be damned (pardon the phrase) if I was going to take communion from some layperson Eucharistic Minister – this day, this last Mass, I wanted to take communion from him.  (I have no business taking communion at all, really, but I like it and I take it and I think God is okay with that).  And so I did.  There was a moment when Father and I locked eyes, and it was one of those rare real moments.  A grace-filled moment of understanding, with a little mourning, and pure Christian love.

Father Noone married Andy-and-me (inside joke to the one who’ll “get” that), and he baptized Boo; I remember Jonah pitching a fit and fidgeting through the whole baptism Mass – until Father Noone poured the holy water on his head.  Then he was fine, for a while.

Jonah’s first water fun! 

I was the one who cried.  I remember feeling incredibly moved…the baptism sacrament is so sacred and beautiful, and Father Noone made it special.  I’ve come to appreciate Mass again, though I became a Father-Noone-Catholic, if you know what I mean.  You’d have to find me another priest like him, and you’d have a big challenge ahead of you if you tried.

So the other thing is they went and changed parts of the Mass.  If you haven’t been to church in a while, all ye Christmas and Easter Catholics, be warned.  You don’t even get to say “and also with you” – which was one of my favorite parts.  I said “and also with you” anyway, even though they’d put the new follow-along words up on a screen for the changed parts.  So that was a little strange.

St. Francis de Sales isn’t St. Francis de Sales anymore, either – two parishes merged into the St. Francis de Sales building/church, and they renamed the church Christ Our Light.   Sounds more Protestant than Catholic, not that there’s anything wrong with that.   So Father met the challenge of merging two parishes with aplomb, and led his new flock well.  He’s the kind of a humble shepherd who never holds himself above you, and he’s got this great, slightly irreverent, sense of humor.  I’m going to miss him.

I’m avoiding writing of Jonah.  He has not made it through many days at all lately without behavioral managements (the take downs) where he becomes suddenly and out-of-the-blue aggressive, biting and kicking and scratching oh my.

This blog is a record on skip.  They can’t mess with his meds right yet because he’s  going to be starting a new med to treat his juvenile arthritis.  And then they need to watch to see if the meds help alleviate the pressure in his left eye from the glaucoma.  And then they’re going to want to remove the implant in the eye, the one they put in two and a half years ago.

So I feel awful when they call of course and for countless reasons.  There isn’t anything to say.  No questions, your honor.

We can’t find a pattern, though we’ve been trying since he was six or so.  Maybe before that.   I can’t help imagining Boo in pain.  Some kind of pain.  And then trying not to imagine it.  Or wanting to fix it, and not knowing how.  Lots and lots of theories and not much proven, or else we’d all be on board.  Right?  I have no idea.  I really don’t.   I remember Dr. Reider’s wise words:  “Correlation does not necessarily imply causation.”  I doubt, and look for evidence.   Do I sound over-proud? – look where it’s got me.

I just want my kid to be at peace inside.

Peace be with Boo.  And also with you.

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