Intention #JusJoJan

The lovely and talented Faye from Faye’s Mystical Musings provided the prompt "intention" for Just Jot It January for today. Thanks, Faye!

Image by useristrator3 from Pixabay

I worked at my parish rectory during my freshman year of high school, answering the phone, taking messages, greeting people who came to the door, and helping people with various requests, including filling out certificates (Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage etc.), arranging funerals, registering newcomers, and collecting stipends from people who wanted to have Masses said for a deceased loved one or other intention. There were a lot of less-common things, such as running interference for the priests and dealing with the people coming to the door asking for money. One day, two plainclothes detectives from the Chicago Police Drug Enforcement Squad arrived and said there were a few men in the back of church arranging a drug deal and wanted me to get them into the church surreptitiously so they could keep an eye on what they were doing. There I was, 14 years old and barely out of grammar school, taking them through passages I had no idea were there, through the sacristy (where the priests got dressed for Mass) and behind the altar, worried that I’d get in trouble for being away from the phone but not wanting to disobey a police officer. They caught the guys, by the way…

Anyway, I worked Sunday morning, while the Masses were being said, and after Mass people would come and want to have a Mass said. To have a Mass said at the parish required a $5 donation, to have a Mass said at the chapel at Loyola University (about two blocks away) required a $2 donation, which I’d collect, write down their intention in the book on the earliest possible date available, and give them a card to pass on to the loved ones of the deceased individual. One day, a rather rough-looking man came in and asked to have a Mass said, and I could swear the person he was having the Mass said for was not quite deceased…

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15 thoughts on “Intention #JusJoJan

    1. Maybe a better description of the rough-looking guy would be “he looked like he beat people up for a living.” 😉 As for the drug deal, there’s much more to the story, which I’ll save for another day…


  1. Interesting job, John. We had a book by the altar where you could write your intentions. My mom used it a lot when she wanted God to work some miracle on one of us kids.


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