What’s that circling about the church? More on my best memory of dad.

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Dad was all about USMC Fighter-Attack Corsairs and then jets. I once asked him if he could fly helicopters and, to my delight, he said that he could fly about anything at all that any manufacturer has come up with that goes up in the air. Marines. For God and Country. Yes, both of those in the same sentence. For God and Country. A marine is always faithful, semper fidelis, Semper Fi, because God is first of faithful, so to speak, steadfast in the glory of honor: God so loved the world that He sent His only Son… So, I always wax nostalgic… From a post I put up some years ago, with a few more details:

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Dad’s the one with his back to you immediately to the left of the propeller. This is on the USS Bataan.

My favorite memory of dad was back in the Autumn of 1962, when I was just 2 1/2 years old, ten years after the picture above was taken. I’d walk up in the Communion line next to him with the rest of the family behind us. The first time I had made brave to follow him the rest of the family threw a fit saying that I should be carried, but I insisted I could make the long trek from the back of the Cathedral up to the front, and dad backed me up. The Cathedral had a gorgeous altar rail with the linens flipped over the top. I was always impressed by the linens getting flipped over the top, just as I was with kneeling there beside my dad, reaching up as high as I could to put my hands under the linens like he was doing. I was pretty small. I was filled with such wonder and awe and reverence as the priest and altar boy with paten would make it over to us. They would start on the Epistle side. We were always on the Gospel side. Everything worked together to instill reverence.

It was good be on my knees with dad before the Lord Jesus. Very good. That’s not just reminiscence with commentary of someone older. No. I was thinking that thought as a tiny little kid. And I can still remember thinking it from my diminutive height, especially so small on my knees. I remember how cold the granite altar rail was below the linens – even in summer. Here I am, thought I, with my dad, before God. I was totally enthralled.

1 Comment

Filed under Eucharist, Military

One response to “What’s that circling about the church? More on my best memory of dad.

  1. Aussie Mum

    I like that, “for God and country”.

    Re “Everything worked together to instil reverence”.
    Explaining the Real Presence to a child is not as powerful as experiencing it (seeing and doing). My experience was not as early or as powerful as yours, Father, as I never got to accompany a parent to the altar rails until after my First Communion at age 7. Still, the whole process – the orderliness and silence, the care (the white cloths flipped over the altar rail, the Communion plate under one’s chin) – the reverence (kneeling) before God, made an impact.

    Yours are lovely memories, Father, very special. Thank you for sharing them. I think it likely that a father of small children reading your post would be inspired to do for his son what your father did for you: give him the opportunity to see and copy, and thus learn what it is to be a true Catholic man before God.

    Boys and girls are different in many ways but my father was my hero too. Good fathers are so very important; one trusts, looks up to and learns from them the really important things in life.

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