the good padre

my sister's grandfather died this week. (i suppose i should mention that he wasn't my grandpa because she and i have different moms. that would make her my half-sister, which is the dumbest distinction ever, because she is, of course, entirely my sister.) it was extra hard because she just lost her grandma less than a year ago. she is strong, well-spoken, and so kind, and she gave the most loving eulogy at the funeral. despite the sadness, it was a hopeful service, focused on resurrection and heaven, as well as fond memories of her grandfather.

the somberness of the occasion was lightened a bit by the presence of the priest, who looked and sounded just like george carlin. he had a smoker's voice, a scraggly beard, and a tiny pewter gray ponytail. when he sang, it was a mixture of off-beat song and a sort of shouted spoken-word, like a kinder, gentler henry rollins. he was a trip.

before the service began, dylan was "talking," and i was debating walking to the back of the sanctuary to quiet her when the priest came over to our pew and addressed the baby, saying, "now, you make all the noise you want in my church, you hear? you make all the noise you want. your voice is the voice of the angels!"


Unknown said...

My condolences to your sister. Our prayers will be with her and the family.
I just wish that more leaders in the faith community treated little ones like Jesus did. It sounds like that preist was a quirky and beautiful man of God.

suzannah | the smitten word said...

thank you so much.
yeah, i was really struck by his warmth and compassion--especially since, being Catholic, he wasn't a "dad" in the strictest sense:) so refreshing to find real grace and hospitality at church;)

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