May 14 has always brought back wonderful memories for me. It is amazing how certain dates and events are indelibly etched on a child’s mind. May 14 was the day I received my First Holy Communion when I was in First Grade at Our Lady of Peace School. I remember practicing our procession every day for a month. Sister Mary Hope was my amazing teacher. She even allowed us to have a dress rehearsal in our full bridal gowns.
My First Communion day was also Mother’s Day that year. You had 5 children in 7 years, so you certainly earned your Mother’s Day off. I remember lying on my bed with you. (My bed was the first bed to the right when you walked in the room.) I lamented that I “took” your Mother’s Day from you, because all the attention was focused on me and my First Holy Communion ceremony.
I vividly remember your immediate reply. You said, “Lori, I will have many Mother’s Days, but you will only have one First Holy Communion Day. Your First Holy Communion is the best Mother’s Day gift I could ever receive. I will be as happy as you are.” I was absolutely thrilled and enjoyed every minute of that day.
Last Tuesday was May 14. The date always makes me smile. I googled Mother’s Day, May 14, 1960-62. Sure enough, Mother’s Day was May 14 in 1961. I was only 7 years old, but I remember the day like yesterday.
While walking back from Sloan Kettering today, since it was May 14, I decided to stop and say a prayer at a Church called, Saint John the Evangelist. As I prayed in the pew, a lady tapped me on the shoulder. She asked, “Would you like to carry the gifts to the altar?’ I replied, “Sure” and followed her to the back of the Church. She said her name was Peggy (I think she was a nun because she had that saintly look about her). I didn’t even know there was going to be a Mass. People began to come into the Church and about 10 minutes later the priest entered.
As I was about pick up the plate of hosts, another lady appeared next to me. Peggy gave me a sorrowful look and said that it was important to the lady to carry the gifts. Would I mind if she took my place? “Of course, I said, it would be fine”. I thought that was symbolic in some way. I stepped aside, just like you did, 58 years ago on my First Communion Day.
As I left, I saw the Divine Mercy Novena in the lobby of the Church. I am saying it and have enclosed two copies for you. I truly felt the presence of God.
The next day, May 15, as I walked back from Sloan, I again stopped in the Church to say a prayer. As I left, I picked up their Church bulletin. I was overwhelmed when I read the title, Our Lady of Peace Church parish was merged into St John the Evangelist in 2014, so both names appear on the Bulletin. As you know, Our Lady of Peace was the name of the School I attended when I received my First Holy Communion in 1961. Divine Providence, Special Providence, whatever you want to call it, when we take the time to notice, God certainly makes His Presence known to each of us.
I Love you Mom!!
Lori – New York City – May 14,2019