Because I was bed-ridden with the Rheumatic Fever diagnosis, I would have frequent company...friends come to play quiet games, neighbors...and one guest I clearly remember was our pastor, Father Scanlan. He was quite a character! Actually, I had been kind of scared of him before he came to visit. In church he could be a bit intimidating....he was very tall (at least to me), had pure white hair, and became very red faced when he was upset about anything.
I remember on one occasion he got really mad at everyone...many people had a habit of leaving mass early, right after receiving communion. Back in the forties', the altar was set so that the priest had his back to the congregation during much of the service. This one Sunday, as the door to the church was quietly but obviously closing before the end of mass, Father Scanlan turned around...very red faced...and yelled that if "another person leaves before the end of Mass, the door would be locked at the beginning of the next mass and not unlocked until the end!!!" And to be sure to spread the word to those who had already left early!! (I don't think a priest or any other figure head could get away with saying that today, but back then, he was the authority whom we all admired and looked up to!)
But when he came to visit me, he brought with him his two Irish Setters!! And that was the only time that I remember animals being allowed inside my mom's house....(for all her wonderful motherly ways, she was very adamant about animals belonging outdoors!) I don't know if it was Father Scanlan's presence or my love of dogs that made her allow them in, but it sure made me a happy little girl each time he came to visit! And created a relationship between us that lasted until he retired and moved away a few years later.
|An Irish Setter (not Father Scanlan's but looks just like one of them!)|
|And another one...aren't they just magnificent!?!?!|