Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


September 17, 2007

Teddy Grahams lead very interesting lives…

Sunday evening and another “Teddy Graham” birthday cake creation. Since Dad had to work on Gawain’s birthday (9/11), we opted to celebrate on Sunday. Which, of course, means a cake.

Not just any cake will do…

I have, in years past, created a number of “Teddy Graham” scenarios: “Teddy’s Under The Sea” complete with a “Teddy-eating” shark… “Teddy Graham Sacrificial Volcano”, complete with lava and grass-skirted natives preparing the “victims” for sacrifice… “Teddy Graham Ski Mountain”, my personal favorite, with tobogganed teddy bears skiing downhill, crashing, making snowmen and having snowball fights…and the “Teddy Graham Campground”, outfitted with tents, fishing gear, canoes and all the trappings of an outdoor adventure…

Gawain’s request this year: “The Big Rock Candy Mountain Teddy Graham Mining Expedition.” The bears are busily engaged in mining the large quantities of caramel and candy corn trapped inside the chocolatey recess of the mountain. No Teddy Grahams were injured in the making of this cake…

He liked it.

The problem: the brothers are becoming highly competitive in the “idea arena”…Maximilian wants a “Teddy Graham Civil War”. That’s an awful lot of blue and gray…

Maybe I should just make cupcakes…

Oh…check out this gift. Truly the most unusual thing I’ve seen in awhile!

Here’s to the "Men in Black"…

On the evening of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the entire left side of the Church was a sea of black…black suits, that is. Seminarians from the Pontifical College Josephinum had turned out in great number for the celebration of the implementation of Summorum Pontificum.

My three sons had spent the entire day, in joyful expectation of this lovely feast. As regular servers of the Extraordinary Rite, they are used to arriving very early to vest and practice their assigned position. Though all three are very enthusiastic participants in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the younger of the three, Sir Galahad, is the most enthusiastic of all.

Galahad made his first Holy Communion on the Feast of Christ the King, in 2006. Immediately following his reception of the Blessed Sacrament, he asked Father if he could begin serving the Mass. Eight years old…and he simply couldn’t wait to ascend the steps to the altar!

Ever since, Galahad has served every single Sunday and Holy Day, with the exception of maybe three or four Masses. The forlorn expression of this beautiful child when he can’t serve is simply heartbreaking.

On Friday evening, as Galahad was vesting, he had an absolutely catastrophic nosebleed. The Master of Ceremonies said it was one of the worst he had ever seen. Galahad’s surplice was horribly stained…and the bleeding just didn’t seem to be stopping. Ten minutes before Mass, our dear MC had to make a really tough call.  Galahad could not serve. I can’t adequately convey the extreme devastation of this poor boy, as he was lead down the steps, sobbing, into my arms.

Quickly, I ushered him down the aisle and took him to the Men’s Room. A few moments later, sitting upon the steps as he tried to compose himself, a kind young man dressed in black, knelt beside him.

“Hi! My name is Joshua…what’s your name?”

(sniffling) “Galahad…”

“It’s nice to meet you Galahad. I’m a seminarian from Josephinum. Do you know what a seminarian is?”

(still sniffling)”…y-y-yes…” (I tell this charming young man that for the past five years Galahad has been telling his family that he is going to be a priest.)

“Well, Galahad, tonight I can’t serve the Mass either. And I don’t even have the very good excuse of a bloody nose! Would you like to come and sit with all the seminarians? We’d like to be up there, too, but we can’t! Would you like to sit with us?”

What an offer! Unfortunately, our poor bloody and embarrassed boy was too shy to take him up on the offer…but how precious!

That young man has no idea what an impression he made upon a young man who already has a very high opinion of those pursuing the priesthood.

Please pray for Joshua and all the wonderful young men like him…one day he just might be the priest offering you the Sacraments…may God increase his number!

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