Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chapter 20

So began our Thursday routine. Every week we'd meet in the dank basement at Holy Family in Rockland, where Father Hickey would take us through Church history, doctrine, prayer, "The Reforms" (his name for Vatican 2), a little Gaelic, some stand-up (he'll kill me for that), and a whole lot of of incredible insight. At least half of the roughly 25 people in the room were the "team", the sponsers and fellow travelers who couldn't get enough of the energy generated in that room.

We'd begin each class with a touchy feely prayer session. We'd hold hands and sing an awful song the padre is very fond of and then go around the circle with our prayer requests if we felt comfortable enough. I am not the biggest fan of this sort of thing, but I am in the minority in this group. Fr. Hickey would then launch headlong into his lesson/monologue/routine.....

I need to discribe this particular priest. He is a wirey working class Irish boy from Dorchester with the broadest Boston accent you could possibly come across. He's loud, earthy, honest, extremely humble, extremely bright and well read, and because of his leadership, this parish contradicts everything you have all been reading about Boston. The parking lot is always full, the congregation breaks records for giving, and every Mass is always ALL ABOUT JESUS, because Hickey is all about Jesus. It's hard not to become a Hickey gruopie, and we all fight that temptation.

Needless to say, by the third week, my husband was chafing at the bit to get to class, and falling in love with the Catholic Church. I on the other hand was very skittish. They all tell me they were sure I wouldn't be there the next week, but I always came back.