I figured it would happen one of these days, but not on a day when the Bishop would be having Mass. You may have heard (or seen) how Ms. Michaela made a cameo appearance during the Confirmation Mass of our young people last Saturday. Someone (the guilty party will remain nameless until they have been proven guilty by a jury of their peers) left the door open to the sacristy. Michaela’s ears are well tuned to any noise in the vicinity & that led her into the church where, much to my surprise, she did not start barking as she normally does upon seeing all those people there (possible threats to the safety & security of her Master). She cleverly escaped the attempts to catch her by those standing in the chapel area taking pictures while the Bishop was confirming in the center aisle of the church. But then she spotted the desire of her heart (i.e., the one who gives her the most treats) and headed for the sanctuary area. Gratefully, *I* was trained on how to handle a dog when I had my first puppy (the trainer’s name was Richard Mann of “Mann’s Best Friend Training Company”…a very clever name). I learned that it is wise to use hand gestures at the same time you issue a verbal command for those times (like at Mass!) when you’re not able to make a loud verbal command but need to control your four-legged friend. Well it worked like a charm. I just gave her the hand signal I always use for “Sit, you’re in trouble!” and sure enough, she sat down immediately behind the altar. I scooped her up and carried her into the sacristy as the photographer got evidence of our leaving during Mass. Gratefully the Bishop, though he knew something was up from the little chuckles in the congregation, was facing the other direction at the time. He took it in good stride and as far as I know, I’m still the pastor of St. Leo.
Our Confirmation students made us proud by their attentiveness and vocal responses to the Bishop’s questions concerning their Catholic Faith. May they use well the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Pray for Aramita Laboy whose Memorial Mass will be celebrated this Saturday, March 14th. Pray also for Brayden Rook who is being baptized on Sunday. May all who are buried with Christ in Baptism rise also to new life in him.
I’ll have to share with you sometime how our statue of St. Leo used to be St. Patrick. But for now, let’s all pretend to be Irish as Leo did & enjoy the corned beef on Tuesday.