Places

Tonight I was the Lector at the 7:00 PM Mass. We celebrated the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. Fr. Bob told us about the basilica of St. John Lateran being the cathedral of the Pope as bishop of Rome. Therefore it is called the "mother church" of Rome and the world. It is a visible symbol of the universal Church.
At first, I was thinking "big deal." But then I thought how important places are to us. Think of those people who refuse to leave their closed churches. Geesh! I get upset when my favorite restaurant goes out of business. Seriously! I use to live across the street from a school and now that school has been made into an apartment building. Very strange.
The biggest emotional punch in the stomach was the closing of St. Stephen's Priory. I could still work myself up over that.

Memories of St. Stephen’s


It’s been a year now, the door to the priory
closed. Plants in bright uniforms, which use to
guard the entrance are missing. Sightless windows
search for the statue of St. Dominic.
I drive through the circle driveway,
listening for prayer, looking for
movement, but the stones are silent,
the fountain dry, and the benches empty.
Cob webs bloom among Queen Anne’s lace,
in St. Cecilia’s garden. The branches beckon
me to walk the overgrown path to the Charles.
No canoe, no paddle, no contemplation.
Where’s the praise for this dusky woods?
Laudare. Benedicere. Praedicare..
I wish.
I pray.
I could.

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