Here’s an old joke that Father Enda’s brother, Father Peter, told one Sunday. (Father Peter always tells jokes.)
A man gets off a plane in a new city and hails a cab. He says, “Take me to church!” The cab driver pulls up in front of the first church he sees, and the man says, “Wait here. I want to make sure it’s the right one.” That church had a gorgeous-sounding choir. The man got back in the cab and said, “No. That’s not the right one. Take me to church!” The cab driver drove to the next church, and the man got out. At this church the minister was giving a wonderful sermon. The man got back in the cab and said, “That’s not the right one either. Take me to church!” The cab driver pulled up to the next church. The man got out, and as he walked inside, he heard a voice from the pulpit say, “Today, the second collection will be for …” And the man said, “I’m home!”
The first time I walked into a regular service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Fredericksburg, Texas on December 5, 2010, I felt like I was home.
Having grown up in the Episcopal church, the service was not tremendously different. Even the Bible readings were the same (usually). When it came time for the Eucharist, I knew I couldn’t go forward. I’d always thought that would bother me, but that day it didn’t. I knelt there in the pew and sobbed silently. I prayed, “Lord, I know I’m not worthy to come forward. But I’m just so glad you let me in the door. Thank you that I can do everything else.”
That prayer and those tears sprung to my mind for the next four months, until I met with Father Enda.