Tigers Love Bubble Baths & Obsession Perfume (who knew!)
Mary K Savarese
A squall of Artic air along with a burst of snow blasted into the chapel.
A woman, looking raggedy and forlorn, almost fell to her knees. Grabbing onto the back pew for support, she grinned over at them. Fighting with her feet for balance, the woman turned around and pushed the door shut. She wore blue jeans and a heavy coat. Shaking her head, the snow fell around her to the floor. As she dusted off her coat, her eyes widened.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt,” the raggedy woman said, dusting off her legs. “My car broke down. I’m in your parking lot. Is that’s okay?”
To Father Joe, the woman resembled a lost puppy. “Why, yes, my dear. Perfectly fine.” Father Joe hesitated for only a moment. “Are you Catholic? . . . Not that it matters. All are welcomed here.” Glancing into the heaven as if hoping for an answer, he sighed. “I’m Father Joe, and you are?”
“Hello, Father Joe,” the woman said, grinning. “I’m Angie, Angie Pantera.” Angie took a step toward the small group. Snow fell to the floor.
Father Joe chuckled. “Are you here on business or pleasure, Angie?”
“Both.” Taking two more steps, more snow fell. “I decided to make Birdsong my home. Looking for a job. Bookkeeping. I’m a bookkeeper.”
Again, more snow fell around her.
The elders glared at each other.
“I was raised a Catholic.” Angie took several more steps and reached out.
Father Joe grabbed onto her cold hand and smiled. “Welcome, Angie, welcome.” Pointing to the elders, he chuckled. “This is Matthew, and this is Mark and Luke and John.”
Looking at the wispy-haired woman, Angie mused, “And you’re Mary?”
“Why, yes,” Mary answered. “How did you know?”
“What else could it be?” Angie laughed, and her face turned bright red.
“Gets them every time,” Matthew replied.
Glancing up at the Little Flower statue, Angie frowned. “I really should be on my way. But my car broke down in your parking lot. Could anyone give me a ride to the hotel?”
No one replied.
“I’ll have my car towed tomorrow. I promise. Know of a good mechanic?”
“Jared’s Garage,” Mark said, his eyes wide. “But sorry, no ride.”
Angie tilted her head and frowned.
Pushing his glasses up higher on his nose, John said, “The Holiday Inn closed. Had a kitchen fire just this mornin’.”
“Must’ve missed that email.” Angie sat in the pew across from the small group. “Is there another hotel or motel around?”
“Maybe we can help,” Father Joe said, glaring down at his small congregation. “Maybe in more ways than one.”
Angie tilted her head. “How so, Father?”
The elders glanced up at the statue of Saint Therese. Was Angie the answer to their nine-day novena?
“No, Father!” Mary stood. “She’s not the one.”
Father Joe winked over at Mary. “It’s okay. Please sit down.”
Turning to Angie, he grinned. “You see . . . we need an employee. A recreational director for the Home of the Little Flower. Doesn’t pay much. Three hundred a week. Gives you the use of the caretaker’s cottage. You can move right in. And you can eat all your meals at the Home.”
After clearing his throat, Father Joe added, “You’ll have to distribute Holy Communion to the eight residents for me. They’re in their nineties. Just three times a week. Would that be a problem?”
Angie shook her head as if disoriented.
“I’ll be out for a few weeks.” Father Joe pointed to his braced leg. “Knee surgery and rehab.”
“The diocese is short on priests right now. None available to say Mass while I’m away. We’re basically shut down. Temporarily, I might add.”
Angie’s eyes widened. “Oh, I don’t know, Father. I –”
“If you have your heart set on a bookkeeping job, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but jobs are a bit scarce up here. We’re still fighting our way out of a recession. What if you give it a try? Let’s say, for a few months or so while you pursue other options.”
“It’s not the position that concerns me.” Angie lowered her eyes.
“Then what is it?”
“I appreciate your offer and all, but—”
“It’s the Communion part,” she replied.
“You did say you were Catholic?”
“I am, Father, but . . .” Angie stared down at the floor. “I’m recently divorced and I haven’t been much of a churchgoer lately.”
“See!” Mary said, standing again.
Father Joe raised his hand, motioning her to sit back down. “How long have you been divorced, Angie?”
“Only a few months.”
“Did you request the divorce, or did he?”
“I guess you could say I was forced into it,” she replied. “By my husband. I mean, ex-husband—”
Father Joe grinned. “I had a feeling you were the innocent one. You will make confession and be just fine, my child, to receive and distribute Our Lord as a commissioned Eucharistic minister.”
Angie’s eyes widened.
“I’ll see to it,” Father Joe said, glancing over at Mary and winking.
Angie stared into her hands.
“Great meals at the Home,” he said. “A warm, dry place to sleep. And new friends.”
Jumping to her feet, Angie stood tall and firm. “Okay, Father Joe. I accept!”
The men smiled. Mary frowned. Father Joe chuckled, understanding that Mary always expected the worse.
|Mary K. Savarese, Author|
I was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, going on to earn a
business degree in accounting from City University, NY. Soon after I
found myself working in insurance and financing and went on to marry
my wonderful husband. We moved to New England.
lived and worked in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. For the
past decade, I have served as a Eucharistic minister at my local
Catholic church, bringing the Eucharist to community nursing homes.
After raising a family in CT, my husband and I became Florida
Residents though continue to spend time in CT where I continue in my ministry
Spirituality, and Romance. I love to write imaginative stories for
all ages! I hope you enjoy this story and look out for more to follow!
for exclusive content and a giveaway!