VIEWS: 70 PAGES: 2 CATEGORY: Humanities POSTED ON: 8/18/2010
After a startling introduction the day before as the moderator of the "Catholic Club" (the what?), I made my announcement, got two takers, and was given the keys to the car - a massive, ancient Chevy station wagon, with a school bus placard haphazardly affixed to its roof. A switch beneath the dash controlled the requisite "stop lights," which a camper riding with me switched on and off delightedly, causing surrounding traffic to screech to an infuriated halt. [...] the "new" church was very old.
THE LAST WORD The Club Liam Callanan F or a few years during college, I worked at a summer camp on a cam- pus outside Boston. It was a won- derful experience, but an intensive one, in part because I didn’t have a car. If I wanted to get away on my day off, my options were largely We headed to the nearby parish identified as our “best bet”: limited to lying in an un-air-conditioned dorm room and listening word was, the Masses were quick and the place was air-condi- to my tiny desk fan do what it could to dispel a humid Massa- tioned. It was also carpeted, small, and—judging from the way chusetts summer. the people in the pews dressed, and from the way they looked at Sundays, though, were different. Early on, someone in the camp how we were dressed (T-shirts, sunburns, hair that hadn’t seen leadership had sidled up to me and said they’d heard I was Catholic. a scolding parent’s comb in weeks)—a rather wealthy, reserved I nodded slowly; there weren’t many Catholics at this camp, and parish. We drew a lot of stares, and on the way back to camp, I wasn’t sure why they were asking. So far, the only skills the job the kids commented on it. I said I’d look into alternatives, and the had demanded of me were returning from field trips with precisely next week I took them somewhere new. as many middle-schoolers as I’d left with, and making sure that Actually, the “new” church was very old. There was no air no one had gotten too terribly sunburned in the interim. I’d had a conditioning and anyone who wanted to be heard—the priest, 100-percent success rate with the former and was running about the lectors, the choir, the congregation—had to compete with the 50/50 with the latter. That was apparently enough to qualify me aircraft-quality standing fans that ran up and down the outer aisles. for the next request. As a result, just about everyone was red-faced and T-shirted—just “There’s a student,” I was told quietly, “who wants to go to like my crew. Indeed, no one stared or glared at us. The priest a Mass.” even smiled. And, then, egged on by the fans, our arrival, or, more At first I worried that they wanted me to say
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