Kenny attended a classmate's birthday party in Hamilton at a place that was a little too young for ten year olds. I keep a book or two in the car at all times, so I brought one in with me not really knowing whether I'd be able to read it. What a pleasant sight met me: the kids were playing and all the parents were reading something! One lady had a New York Times as well as a book. No smalltalk needed for this party ... I think I've finally come home!
But, of course, we parents talked some. One of the mothers asked whether we attend St. Joseph's and I said yes, quickly adding that there aren't many other options. She said she used to take her child to their religious education program but did not care for what the CCD teachers were saying. She moved her child to St. Anthony's and she had such difficulty coming up with the church's name and town that I wondered how recent this move was. If I've recently been a certain place that's mentioned, I like to tell about it in an affirming way. So I explained that I'd taken Kenny to St. Anthony's 125th anniversary and the bishop was there and we shook his hand. "Because he's on his way out, you know." She didn't know. She admitted to not having heard about her parish's quasquicentennial or the bishop's visit. "Well, we don't really go there, not in a long time anyway." And so, I think I figured out her issue with St. Joseph's CCD program: children are expected at Sunday mass. I've heard St. Anthony's doesn't require it.
The party let out around 6 so I took Kenny over to St. Gregory's in Hamilton Square for the 6:30 service. It's the second Saturday evening service and, being summertime, was lightly attended. It was announced that Fr. Trammell would be installed as pastor the next day. By my reckoning, he's been assigned there at least 18 months so I was surprised to learn that he's still a temporary administrator. But that major event may also explain why so few were in attendance.
I let Kenny light some candles. The music is very well done even if I didn't know any of the songs. One stuck with me, "Eventide." YouTube has an Elton John studio version as well as a live performance, but I'm not a fan of his voice with its inexplicable Southern twang that seems so put on.
The Gospel reading is the end of Luke 10, Mary and Martha. Fr. Komonchak has a good post at Commonweal with good discussion, even a comment from me. After the service, Kenny asked to slip into the "old part" (i.e., original church) which serves now as chapel for daily mass. We did but not before someone else got in ahead of us and I told Kenny that he would have to be extremely quiet out of respect. I hadn't ever been in there myself and it's just beautiful. Between the pews and the wainscoting, there's just so much rich, warm, dark wood. He spied the balcony and wanted to go up. But the door to it was locked and I explained that so many of these old balconies are structurally weak and unstable. Fortunately we can use the balcony in our parish.
On the way to the car, he asked me whether we possess the original Bible. I told him that we have copies of copies of copies which made him very sad. He seemed to think that someone set down all at once the words of Scripture and I told him the words were written over a period of many centuries. I suppose I should have tried to help him see the wonder in that.