Posted on March 23, 2021 by Catherine Sevenau
Chapter 13: Extra backstory • Chico ~ As she acquired older and her burning toes made it too far to stroll, Roy drove his mom Nellie the mile and a half to 7:30 morning Mass. Cruising up in his black four-door Hudson Terraplane sedan, hopping from the automotive, providing her his arm and strolling her up the 13 crimson brick steps via the 2 arched entrance doorways and down the lengthy aisle previous the imposing stained glass home windows, he delivered his mom to her seat within the entrance pew. For thirty-seven years my grandmother attended every day Mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Chico. Even when she took seven years off for holidays, sickness, or emergencies, that will nonetheless depart 30 years which quantities to 360 months or some 1,140 weeks or 10,950 days. That’s fairly a spell for her to maintain and strengthen her ethical superiority. She spent these 11,000 hours praying primarily for the salvation of her youngsters.
If it’s a behavior of the righteous to imagine one’s soul could also be saved by going to church, if attendance on Sundays may make one virtuous, and if attendance on holy days may guarantee one’s true holiness, then my grandmother reasoned that going day by day would definitely earn her a seat on the proper hand of her Lord and Savior… one of the best seat in the home from which to dispense her virtuous judgment. The Roaring twenties introduced speakeasies, straightforward morals, and straightforward cash; the Victorians, Catholics, and Puritans had been quickly shedding floor to the Jazz age, flappers, political corruption, and arranged crime. Instances had been altering, and Grandma, together with the Pope and J. Edgar Hoover, did her private greatest to stem the tide.
In her later years, Grandma Nellie had a tv set, and he or she by no means missed Bishop Sheen’s Holy Hour. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a author, preacher, and instructor, was an evangelist of the airwaves. Each Sunday at 6:00 p.m. she watched his holy hour from her slide rocker. The present was not an hour of devotion, however fairly of redemption, and with it he introduced huge numbers of converts to the Catholic Church. He wrote, “Each human being at his start has all the things to study. His thoughts is a type of clean slate on which truths could be written. How a lot he’ll study will depend upon two issues: how clear he retains his slate and the knowledge of the academics who write on it.” Grandma Nellie, who perceived herself as appointed warden and keeper of morals, thought he mentioned it was her job to maintain her eye on everybody else’s slate. Along with her rosary twisted, she was right here to evaluate the world, not reserve it.
Nellie’s different Sunday ritual was tuning into the Ed Sullivan Present, a mixture of vaudeville, comedy, and music. She adored his present, besides when the Rockettes got here on; she thought them scandalous, horrified by their skimpy skirts and naked legs kicked over their heads. She insisted they had been sinful. Making the signal of the cross, she additionally insisted the small black and white tv not be turned off so she may watch, leaning ahead in her rocker, cleansing the mud specks from her wire-rimmed glasses.
To be continued…