It's my story of my road to confirmation and only some very miniscule percentage of this planet will care. To those who do, this is the first installment of this somewhat interesting story….confusion, lies and divorces.
To parishioners of St. Jude the Apostle who might also be my Facebook or personal friend….please read this story at will and share with whomever you might want. It is very public after all. But know that it is a true story and sometimes….well shit happens.
On to the denial of holy communion, confusion, terror….and death.
The reality is that the whole thing was a misunderstanding, not anyone's fault. But before the meeting the church religious ed secretary called up the Baltimore diocese to search the bowels of the St. James basement for any indication I'd ever been baptized. They found my BROTHER's baptismal certificate.
At any rate, the fact that my brother's baptismal certificate was found and that pic of me in the first communion outfit would probably have been enough to convince the St. Jude parish people that I was Catholic and was likely baptized.
It was my many marriages that caused the problem.
It's no mind why I have been married four times but I offer defense to those who consider me a marital risk….well I suppose I was. I married at age 18 to my childhood sweetheart. He left me at age 21, I don't know why but I was heartbroken and had no choice but to go on living.
The second guy I married died at age 39, what are the odds of that?
The third guy I married was a mistake. So I divorced him.
The fourth guy I married I remain married to for almost 25 years before HE died, just two years ago.
The bigger point out of all this is that I NEVER EVER GOT MARRIED CATHOLIC!
Lord I don't know why but twice I got married Lutheran, I don't know why, the church was available or something. Once, to my only true beloved love of my life, I was married by a Christian minister. One guy I married at the court house.
Thus my divorces….which was two, were no business of the Catholic church. Only those married Catholic and then divorce are considered….well I don't know what divorced Catholics are considered nowadays.
But I wasn't one of them.
Pam, however, did not know my marital history except that I had been divorced. "Not only can't you be confirmed," she said solemnly, "but you really shouldn't be taking communion."
My heart went down to my feet. At the time I didn't know about the Catholic connection so Pam assumed that my marriages ending in divorce were the result of Catholic weddings. Whatever who was thinking what, I was dismayed. Here I was trying to get confirmed and be a total Catholic and I might end up excommunicated!
In my despair I told Pam that I'd have to think about it all, that I regretted even starting this thing, that I needed time to think.
Pam graciously bid me goodbye but assured me that she and Father Jim would do everything they could to help me.
The following Saturday I went to mass. I was terrified. I have no idea how things work when the church refuses communion to someone but I was going nuts that I might go up to receive communion and in front of all the Saturday mass attendees I might be denied the holy sacrament.
This did not happen, of course. In fact, after mass, Father Jim called me over. "I understand that you are trying to get confirmed. I would be happy to bless your marriage to Billy."
Of course I was grateful and despite my not understanding what the hell he was talking about, I knew then that no one was trying to kick me out of church or deny me communion. In fact my Pastor went out of his way to offer his help although I had no idea how blessing my marriage to Billy would help my double divorce situation.
I am just not sure who understood what but Father Jim did know my husband Billy and I'd expressed a desire to have our marriage blessed. Billy himself said he would be fine with such a thing so it would seem that Pam, me and Father Jim were on a dozen different pages.
It was no big deal, really. First of all, the baptism proof was unavailable although like I said, this might have been accepted given a plea to Father Jim. Still and so I had that wall to climb. Then there were the divorces, still even then I did not know that my not being married Catholic solved that problem.
Also Billy got real sick.
Alas Billy died a couple of years ago and I am still a member of St. Jude the Apostle parish in Lewes, Delaware.
A few weeks ago there was a blurb in the church newsletter. To the effect: "Interested in being confirmed? Call this number."
It's important to note that at some point in time between my abandonment of my first confirmation quest I learned that since I was not married Catholic it was no mind that I was divorced.
Also, I had a chance to do some serious thinking on the matter. I don't know about the bureaucracy of the Catholic church but I know that my Lord and Savior would not deny me confirmation. For despite my period as a stupid atheist, well that made me all the more a loving Christian.
I became determined to get confirmed. I had no qualms whatsoever about writing Pope Francis. I'm thinking I could get someone's attention.
NEXT: Baptism is proved….it might actually happen.!