Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chapter 19

Having found this cross in the street, I showed it to the two friends from the base who were in Tel Aviv with me. One of them was a Dane who had seen military action in all sorts of scary places and the other one was a "film maker" (not a real successful one, let me add) from California. They both told me "Throw it away, you don't want that, not here!!!" But I did want it.

It was early Autumn when I got back to the States. I really didn't think I could go through with it. This is the Catholic Church we are talking about here....Then big old scary original one, and I'm Jewish....... While I was in Israel, my husband attended an RCIA class one of the parishes here in town. It was not a resounding success. There was only one other inquirer, and the "team member" was woman with a classic Boston "Yes Fathah, anything you say Fathah" type attitude, and the priest, although a very wonderful person, was barely comprehensible in English. So we let it slide for a bit. My knitting group of mostly reform Jewish women was not overly enthusiastic as you can imagine, so the idea sat for awhile.

By January I was really hungry to find out if the Catholic Church was the place for me. I had been reading all the Catholics I could online, and I had encountered one or two orthodox Jews who were Catholic, or wanted to be. One fellow, a black hat type I was writing to. was attending Mass, sitting in the back in his kippah, and really believed with all his heart, but couldn't imagine a life with out study at the Kollel.

So I got up the guts and knocked on the door of the other parish in town. I just drove up to the rectory, rang the bell and said, "can I talk to someone about RCIA?" I was introduced to the director of religious education, and we proceeded to have a two hour gab fest. My first words to this wonderful woman were "I am absolutely terrified." She informed me that classes would start in the Autumn, and would actually be at a church in a neighboring town. She took my number and that was it.

We began to attend Mass, and familiarize ourselves with it. Some priests were more interesting than others, some were just doing their jobs, but almost every single one gave a homily that was based on the text. We found that very refreshing. We also received all sorts of bad advice from the Catholics in the pews, like......"Of course you can receive communion, everyone can", but we knew better.

In June, we got a call from the woman I'd met in January, with the date of the RCIA class in September. I duly wrote it into the calendar, and informed my husband. In September I said to my husband "RCIA starts this month"

He replied "That's nice"

The week class was to start, I said to my husband "We start RCIA this week"

He replied "That's nice"

On Wednesday, I said to him "We have RCIA tomorrow night"

He replied "Oh yes, that's right."

On Thursday morning I said "Class is at the church, at 7 p.m.", and later that day I called him to ask if we should take two cars, or would he pick me up.

He replied "I'll pick you up at 6:30"

At 6:45 he rang up to say he was just leaving the office, but was stopping to pick up a bottle of scotch and he'd be home around 7:15.

Me: "Okay, but we'll be late for RCIA"

Him: " Oh that's right!! I completely forgot!!!! I'll meet you there!"

Can you say "Ulster Protestant Mental Block", boys and girls?