Archive for August, 2010

July 2 was one of my emotional days on the planet except for the day when we lost Dad, Nov 21, 2009. It was our 27th anniversary and that’s always a happy time since life with Rodgers is so good and our love only gets stronger.

I had called the church rectory the day before since I had heard about the death of Father Mickey and that his funeral was to be at the Basilica in downtown Denver on our anniversary. Oh God, I thought can I bear another funeral just now! Father Mickey wasn’t much older than me, and had died within the space of 3 weeks. We had had more hopeful news from Father Jim the previous weekend, until he added that Father Mickey had pneumonia.

Rodgers worked at his art show that day, and I wasn’t needed as it was within driving distance of our home. I had a project with a deadline and all kinds of excuses not to attend Father Mickey’s funeral. Yet, I knew I had to. I liked what he stood for: a late vocation to the priesthood. He was simply so happy being a priest, and didn’t have high aspirations for promotions. He just wanted to be a good priest and that he was.

Late like Father Mickey was for many events, I was late for his funeral. The only place to sit was in the front of the church ironically near some fellow parishioners from Conifer amidst this crowd of some 1000. I was so sad and memories of Dad’s funeral kept returning to me. I eventually found Father Jim, our pastor and Father Mickey’s roommate of several years sitting in the pews not far from me. “Oh that’s right,” I thought, “Father Jim would be a pallbearer, a place of honor and sorrow for him.” Jim had lost his Father earlier this year, so I can only imagine the pain was much deeper for him than for me.

Meanwhile in front of me was my friend’s son. I had never met him and tears were streaming down his face as he was so close to Father Mickey as an altar boy. His parent’s attempts to comfort him just weren’t working.

Meanwhile the Mass was progressing and we got to the great “Amen” after the Consecration. It was then that I realized that the 6 – 8 priests/bishops on the altar had a lot of company; about 50 more priests sat to the left of me and took up the entire front of the church. I had no idea they were all priests, as I had been absorbed in my own world oblivious to the energy of others except for the suffering boy in the pew just in front of me.

I had never felt such support, warmth and love in the resonance of 60 voices saying “Through Him with Him and in Him.” These clergymen were so connected, passionate and supportive of their lost friend, Father Mickey. From then on I was more present outside of myself and absorbed this energy of love, caring and kinship.

After Mass, we congregated outside, and my friend’s son almost leapt into Father Jim’s arms who just held and comforted him while he wept and tried to tell Jim how sad he was about the loss of Mickey. There has been a lot of controversy around the Catholic Church and priests. Anyone witnessing the love and comfort that Father Jim gave this young boy, would be totally moved. Somehow Father Jim, who had to be aching from the loss of his dear friend, was able to find room to support and hold this young boy and just let him be.

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