Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“day off” in this priest’s life edition: from Father Gordon to a cemetery)


Getting up at 12:00 AM for the day, the needful was done, the editing and preparing of the devastatingly staggering article of a guest writer (Ryan MacDonald) on the betrayal of Father Gordon (About), getting this ready for publishing over on These Stone Walls, and now published on TSW as:

#MeToo & #HimToo: Jonathan Grover & Father Gordon MacRae

I’m sure that story brings back plenty of traumatic stress to Father Gordon because of the enormity of the betrayal and who it involves from the beginning, right through the decades, to this very day, on a personal level, and in both Church and State. That post really needs to be shared far and wide as this could be what will change some attitudes against priests who are merely accused (that DOES NOT mean guilty) and have their throats slit, cast out of society and the priesthood and, for many, the church, and for some, life.

After that, starting about 4:30 AM, feverish preparations had to be made for a funeral Mass in a trailer home up in the backsides of the back mountains (this with a standing permission of the Bishop for that particular residence), with a burial in a private family cemetery (someone else’s) which was even more remote. Not even a minute to spare.

But first, at 6:00 AM, it was off to Asheville’s Subaru, a two hour trip, to get a major overhaul on Sassy the Subaru Forester (the 60,000 mile mark, and now 2 years old), costing me, because of additional stuff to all that (including a change-out of dangerously un-treaded tires[!] (the third change-out with, of course, 85,000 mile guarantees[!]) and a lack of headlights[!]), close to $1,700. Since that would take the whole day, they gave me a loaner car for the day. Being in the lounge for about one minute while the paper work was prepared, some treats needed to absconded with for later consumption.

While on the way there I did something that, in a negative subjunctive but not an absolute prohibition, in the words of the great Cardinal Sarah, “should not be done.” So, this is a confession. The breviary for the day was put up on the speakers of the ailing Subaru Forester because I knew that I simply would not have the time that whole day to get to it otherwise. Maybe that speaks to my faithlessness and total lack of priorities, but I’m weak and useless. That takes usually less than an hour and a half in that phone app // blue tooth method. I went from the first hour to the last non-stop. This is NOT the way it should be done. But I knew my day-off would not afford me even one free minute.

Meanwhile, the next stop after Subaru with a loaner car for the day was Brevard Hospital to get a yearly blood draw for levels of all sorts of things, so fasting since the previous evening was necessary. Having done that, those treats from Subaru were scarfed down. Then it was off to the UPS Store for everything that piled up since being in Rome.

Then it was right off to the mountains for the funeral and burial and reception. That was very touching altogether. Lots of friends. Lots of memories. Tears and laughter. All good. This trailer-house funeral Mass (where I had offered Mass many times previously) was, well, I must say, it was like Jesus was right there. He was, of course, in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It was Holy Mass, after all. But, well, you know what I mean. This was a real consolation that our Lord will afford to us once in a while if it is good for our souls. This was good for my soul, and I think all there would heartily agree with that for themselves as well.

Then, startled at the racing clock, it now being 2:30 PM, racing down the one-lane, no-fault gravel mountain road with its washouts and downed trees and drive-through creeks, was a necessity so as not be late for a doctor’s appointment down the mountain and in Brevard, a 3:00 PM appointment. I made it, to the second. All well. The two orchids in this post are from the doctor’s office.

Subaru called for further permissions for stuff they found, and it was back off to Subaru to drop off the loaner and get Sassy back. Then the trip back home to meet up with a hungry Shadow-dog and a hungry Laudie-dog. I’m guessing Shadow is now well over 100 pounds, more than three times the size of Laudie.


They are now quite the item. When it’s cold they sleep together in the same dog house.

It “shouldn’t be done”, but I’m very happy to have gotten my entire breviary in for the day, since, as soon as I sat down in my chair in the rectory at 9:00 PM, I was out like a light, like someone hit me on the head and knocked me out, until 6:00 AM the next day, today, when Father Gordon called as per usual.

I’m happy to be back on American time with this nine-hour sleep after a 21 hour day-off. The doctor was a little bit worried. The blood pressure was great, 117 over 77. But the pulse was over 100 when it’s usually at 60. I told him of my post-Rome overtiredness and what the day was like so far, so that calmed him down. He says that being way overtired can bring the pulse right up.

Anyway, and just to say, there is, nevertheless, always time for another flower for the Immaculate Conception. I mean, her dear Son really does have quite the imagination.


Please read and share:

#MeToo & #HimToo: Jonathan Grover & Father Gordon MacRae


Filed under Flores

2 responses to “Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (“day off” in this priest’s life edition: from Father Gordon to a cemetery)

  1. Gina Nakagawa

    Words fail.

  2. If this is what a ‘day off’ is like for you, a busy day must really be something else. I think your unconventional way of doing the breviary pleased Jesus.

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