|Sr, Ann and Fr.Gallagher|
About a week ago, Rebecca was feeling laid up and so we couldn’t do our morning jog. Instead, I trotted to her house for tea, and then meant to trot home. But, alas, I had hardly gotten started on my way home, when I felt a little “whoosh” in my hip. I know that a hip can’t really go whoosh, but that is exactly what it felt like. Immediately, my hip hurt – not terribly, but enough to slow me down and to give me a decided limp. I hobbled home, feeling guilty for walking, as I had committed myself to Becca to jog, but it was just too uncomfortable. I thought it was probably sciatica, but it didn’t feel exactly like that. It was strange and unpleasant. About half of my patients have just gotten new hips – hours before I meet them - and they are usually not terribly happy campers. The specter of joining their ranks was haunting me. (It is a known fact that medical folk are often inclined to imagine the worst scenario for their own personal ills.) For the week since, I have been hobbling around, achy, grumpy, and feeling like a very old thing. I even called in sick for half of a shift – although, I felt pretty yucky in other ways too, so the combination made me feel justified – sort of. A week of shuffling about, whinging incessantly was getting discouraging.
Today, our choir sang at the funeral of Father William Gallagher, the former pastor of the Cathedral. He was a pretty spectacular fellow, transforming the Cathedral from a slightly shabby inner-city parish with 400 families – and one that folks were nervous about going to lest they get mugged as they approached the door – to a sparkling inne-rcity parish with 1200 families, a first-rate and nationally noted music program, and many outreach programs to assist the nearby needy. This latter included the Catholic Worker’s Family Kitchen (now the Cathedral Kitchen) where a an excellent, healthy, and free meal is served every weekday of the year. He was loved by so many – a kind man who did not distinguish or judge. I recall that once, when I was distress about my troubles with my mother, who could at times, be a real pill, I attended Mass at St James, and his homily, which had something to do with a jar of beans, brought me real peace of mind. This was probably thirty years ago, but I have not forgotten the profound effect of his words. I have tried and tried to remember what he said about the jar of beans, but that jar is the only thing of the homily that I remember. Besides, of course, its solacing effect on me.
What does this have to do with my hip, you might ask. Well, at the conclusion of the funeral, I was walking down the aisle, toward the exit, when my hip gave a little inner “click.” Mirabile dictu, the pain was instantly gone! This was perhaps Father Gallagher’s first saintly miracle! I strode home in much better spirits than those with which I had limped to church a few hours earlier.
|Our beautiful Cathedral|