Du Temps Perdu

In those days
My phone stayed
On vibrate
Even in meetings

I was
More or less
Always on call
For the two old women

So that day
In that meeting
When it vibrated on the table
And the caller ID showed “Mom”
I excused myself
Stepped out the door
And answered

“Mom, is something wrong?”

The excitement shook her voice
Made her breathless
As she spilled forth:

“Wrong? Nothing’s wrong We have a Pope! and he’s a Jesuit from South America and he took the name Francis first Pope ever to take Francis as his name we have a Pope!

A long time ago
In a galaxy far, far away
I was Catholic
Baptized at 3 weeks old
Schooled at
St. Rose di Lima
St. Leo the Great
St. Joseph Academy
Marquette University

But that was long ago
Far away
Long lost
No, not lost
Rejected

When that call came
I was Episcopalian
Catholic Light
Teaching Sunday School
Best friends with my priest’s wife

My mother though
Remained
In my sister’s words
More Catholic than the Pope

So now she interrupted
My work day
With her excitement
Losing years
Losing estrangement
Expecting me to share
Her excitement

Wondrously, I did.
A Jesuit
An American
A Francis

So I took an interest
I followed as he
Rejected palace living
Chose a small car
Rebuked the Curia

I followed and wondered
And felt a breeze
That carried the strawberry scent
Of Vatican II
Of my hopeful youth

But that was long ago
In a Rome far away
As I listened to his rant
Against those who criticize the Church
Friends and relatives of the devil
He called us

And I see Lord Acton
Standing behind Francis’ left shoulder
Sadly shaking his head.

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