Making the Effort To Walk To Church In A Blizzard and Then Getting Dissed By The Priest's Sermon

3 years ago


This was a post I originally wrote on February 2, 2011 which I thought I'd revisit and dust off.  Very deja vu and apropos with all this snow today.

All of this snow has me thinking about when we were kids, because it sure seemed like we had a lot of snow days back then. In particular, I remember one Easter Sunday when I must have been about 11 or 12, when we had a huge snowstorm that hit the east coast with about 2 feet of snow.

I grew up in a very religious Catholic household, and neither snow nor sleet nor hail were going to keep my parents from performing their Sunday duties of getting us all out the door and off to church that morning. After all, it was Easter Sunday, one of the days everyone (even the semi-lapsed Catholics) went to church. And believe me, we weren't semi-lapsed, we went EVERY Sunday to church, without fail. My parents were very staunch Catholics.

My mom and the 3 girls (Mary-Kate, Sue, and me AKA Baby Huey) on our way to Easter Mass 

I remember my mother making sure we all got bundled up in our snow boots, hats, mittens and winter coats and out the door to walk the 2 mile trek to St. Agnes Church. All of us went, the 4 kids, my mom and dad, trudging our way through an insane amount of unplowed snow. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was still blizzarding down upon us for the entire walk.

It was kind of fun, in a Nanook of the North, survivalist kind of way. My mom was so pleased that we could show such a wonderful example of Christianity and good Catholic faith (she was, after all, Scottish, and religion was very near and dear to her heart, as was perseverance over insurmountable odds). We finally arrived at the Church, looking like eskimos, and dripping snow all over, but quite pleased with ourselves and our religious fervor.

The priest that day, Father Lutz (amazing how I can remember his name after all these years), gave a rather condescending sermon in which he remarked that, while it was nice that the very few of us who made it to church showed up, it was completely unnecessary, given the weather conditions. mother was completely disgusted! She was soooo annoyed at him, and couldn't believe he would dismiss our valiant efforts to show our faith by our struggle to Mass through all of this snow, only to be so summarily dismissed.

My mother had Multiple Sclerosis for much of her adult life, and in her very stoic way, never even told anyone about it until I was in my 30's. No one. Not my Dad, not her parents, not us, not her best friend(s). No one.

She kept it all in, kept it all to herself for about 20 years. I still cannot quite fathom that, given the year I've been through. She lived in this state of panic and limbo that I've lived in this last year, for over 20 years, never sharing the fear or anxiety with anyone, not even my dad until she was in her 50's.

Ad me, I shout out my breast cancer woes from the highest mountaintops. I'm so out there, constantly telling everyone how indignant I am about this very annoying and horrible disease that's been hoisted upon me, while she kept it all in with great dignity, only sharing it when we were all older.

She was a strong woman.  I suppose I got much of my "strength in the face of adversity" from her.  I can't really take the credit; my mother raised us to be strong, independent women.

So, let me post these pictures of today's ice storm for posterity. It's the least I can do, in honor of the memories that the snow has brought me today.

Beautiful snow colored Red Maple in our front yard. 

Snow covered fir trees.


First published on My Left Breast:

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