The Deacon's Bench

From Boston comes this story that shows that lengths some will go to — and the depths some will plunge — during hard times: 

Whoever broke into St. Ambrose Church had to squeeze between a statue of St. Ambrose and some bushes to get to the stained glass window. Then he or she punched through the window that depicts Jesus calming the Sea of Galilee.

“It was probably somebody from the parish,” the Rev. Alexander Keenan said, looking at the piece of wood that covered the hole. Some shattered glass rested on the windowsill. “They knew exactly where to go.”

In the darkness, the intruder went to the poor boxes on either side of the church and, with great violence, ripped them from the walls. There couldn’t have been much money in them.

Every once in a while, some big thinkers in Washington, D.C., are trotted out to talk about leading economic indicators.

In the Fields Corner section of Dorchester, a leading economic indicator is when people start breaking into churches and ripping the poor boxes off the walls.

“I wish whoever did this had come to me first,” Father Keenan said. “I would have helped them.”

The saint for whom the church is named grew up in Germany, the scion of a wealthy family. But when he was ordained, in the 4th century, he gave away all his money. He became the bishop of Milan, and the emperors didn’t like him, but the emperors couldn’t touch him because the people loved him because he loved the poor.

There isn’t a lot of money floating around the parish in Dorchester that bears his name. On Sunday mornings, there’s a Vietnamese Mass at 8, an English Mass at 10, and a Spanish Mass at 11:30.

They were halfway through the opening hymn at the 10 o’clock Mass yesterday when a young guy in a gray hoodie drove his motorized wheelchair down the center aisle. He held a clear plastic cup of Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee in his shriveled right hand and he parked himself in front of the first pew on the right side of the church. 

Father Keenan welcomed the 64 people who were sitting in the pews when Mass started and then apologized. He apologized because he had to ask for money. Not for the broken window. Not for the new vestments that the priests need. He apologized because he wanted to hold a special collection for the people in Vietnam who just had a typhoon rip through them. 

There’s more there to offer food for thought, and prayer.   Please visit the link for the rest.  

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus