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The Deacon's Bench

A couple weeks back, I blogged about my vacation at Disney World. I got some nice reaction to the piece, which I ended up re-publishing (in slightly altered form) in my parish bulletin.

Imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail this evening from another Disney fan:

I read your article JESUS AT DISNEY WORLD in the bulletin and loved it! YES, we too have made a habit of “seeing” Jesus in Disney World !!!!

She went on to explain that she and her sister are consecrated virgins.

But wait! There’s more:

Did you know that Mr. Disney had priests and nuns at the ground breaking of Disney World? So Jesus was the 1st guest at Disney and I’m sure he’s still there. Thats why it’s one of the “Happiest” places on Earth! It’s a glimpse of Heaven!

She then attached the photo below, which is really an eye-opener:


Nice, but there’s just a problem. That’s not Disney World. Or even Disneyland. (It’s an understandable mistake; what else would that man be doing with a shovel, after all??)

Well, I did a little Googling and discovered that it was the groundbreaking of a Catholic hospital in Los Angeles in the 1940’s. It’s located across the street from the Disney animation studios. This website explains the story behind it. The Disney company gave a lot of money to the hospital, and on the website there’s even the shot below, of a certain mouse, presenting a sister with a nice check:


Ain’t that somethin’?

Anyway … I’ll be eternally grateful to the young woman who wrote to me, and sent along that picture. You never know how God is going to work. Out of my vacation, I encountered a couple of consecrated virgins, learned a fascinating piece of Disney history, and I got to see a memorable picture of a genius with a shovel — surrounded by priests, altar boys and nuns!

And to think: it all started with a mouse.

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