Monday, March 21, 2011

"Dust Thou Art"

I am aware that Ash Wednesday is a bit past us, but I found the following Email in my archives--sent back in February 2008 to some of my friends.

It tells an interesting tale.

These days I worship at St. Cyril and Methodius Slovak Catholic Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan--a relatively new replacement church for an ancient fortresslike predecessor church in the old Slovak center in Detroit (pics of the old St. Cyril's can be found here). The new St. Cyril was built in relatively upscale Sterling Heights in the '80s because that's the center of the Slovak community these days.

Anyway, they have no less than five priests assigned there, for about 1500 families.

VERY active, take-no-nonsense traditional Catholic church, featuring a sculpture of Christ flogged that makes 'The Passion of the Christ' look like a G-movie. Their big 9:30 Mass has no less than a hundred--no exaggeration--altar boys, concelebrated by three priests.

Anyway. Father Ben--a youngish priest from Slovakia with a heavy accent known for his charitably unbending moral preaching, had the following to say at the close of Mass yesterday:

"You all know of [name deleted], the past president of the Men's club and the ushers. He was here on Wednesday to assist at the 7:00 PM Ash Wednesday services. He stood at the back of the Church and was the last one to receive ashes.

"You should all know that after receiving his ashes, he sat down in the first pew, suffered a heart attack and died before the Host.

"Some call that a tragedy, but I call it a miracle. I cannot imagine a better way to go to God. Please remember him in your prayers."

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Keep it clean for gene.