An embarrassing moment in church

 ... Only cardinals wear red

by Bernadette Mahoney

In l964 my friend Barbara and I went to England. We stayed in London for four days and then booked a Cathedral Tour at Frames' Tours. The tour took us all around England's countryside as well as to Scotland and Wales. We went to places you have heard of such as Cambridge, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon and places you have probably not heard of such as Lockerbie, Ambleside and Windermere.
Half way through the tour, we arrived at a quaint little town whose name I have forgotten. I decided to find out if there was a Catholic church nearby where I could go to Mass in the morning (Sunday). At the desk I was told that there was a 7:00 A.M. Mass at a church that was five minutes away if I took the shortcut. That was perfect. We were leaving at 9:30 A.M. Barbara suggested I had better go on a trial run to see whether or not I could make it in five minutes. I could.

When I arrived at the church the next morning, I found one thing I had missed on my trial run. The front entrance was being repaired and there was an arrow pointing to the back of the church. I didn't have that much time so I stepped up my pace. Another arrow showed me where to enter.  

I went through one empty room into another and then went into the third room. And there I was standing on the altar looking down at the congregation who were looking up at me. I could feel my cheeks getting warm and red; I quickly located the stairs and went down. Fortunately, someone who was pointing to an empty seat caught my eye and I went over and sat in it. I closed my eyes and silently thanked God that the priest was a little late.

February 1, 2002

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