Dubuque Symphony Orchestra presents Crouching Tiger
Instructions for Confirmation were in full swing as John and I, Elizabeth, the eighth and ninth members of the family, prepared for our Confirmation day. Archbishop John (Sugar) Keane was not partial to the Monastery Parish as its pastor. Rev. Placid Magee, lived partially under Cistercian rules which hindered the Archbishop from having complete jurisdiction over him. The Archbishop had threatened not to confirm the class four years previously as he said, “They are not properly prepared.”
Rain or shine, John and I drove our single buggy to catechism on Saturday morning. Our sleek black pony. Dell, gave us a swift jaunty ride as we enjoyed freedom and responsibility. Our heads were crammed with Baltimore Catechism answers, which sounded like a record production with little understanding of their meanings.
The whole class marched with their sponsors, names to be taken pinned securely, and awaited the questions.
“How many were in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit appeared to the apostles?”
Silence prevailed. All heads were down cast in deep thought.
Our pastor, Father Placid, stood behind the clergy, with his right
hand plainly writing in midair the number 120.
After a long silence, I stood up and said, “Your Excellency, about 120 people were present.” With a broad smile the archbishop replied, “Very well answered.”
The whole congregation took on an atmosphere of relief as we had crossed the first hurdle. As more simple questions followed, the whole class volunteered answers, making it a happy occasion.
My sister Mary was teaching in Humbolt, Iowa. She was so happy with our achievement that she sent a box by parcel post to John and me. The mailman even drove his team up to our house to deliver the heavy brown package.
We hurriedly tore it open to find two pairs of shiny new roller skates, just our size. We slipped the snuggly fitting skates over our shoes, but found the two-plank boardwalk too rough to skate on.
John said, “We can clear a place in the upstairs hayloft to skate on.” So with two three-prong pitch forks we moved about two tons of hay back and up to get a 40 x 60 place to skate. The floor was planed and smooth so we could play tag games and master short curves with great speed.
The hollow sound from our skating was a real giveaway, and any task not finished summoned us to quit skating and get it done.
Now in 1997 we see the kids on their blade skates mastering far greater skills.
We appreciated our reward and cherished the thought that right will prevail!