Chapter 6, Catholic Parochial School, God Loves Me
My siblings attended public school. Mom only enrolled me in Saint Clare’s
To get there, I sneaked on the public school bus with public school kids at the rural bus stop, hopped off at their school and walked the half mile to mine. In Tropicana Village, I rode the city bus, the only kid who left earl in the morning and got home late, too late to join neighborhood after school activities. It didn’t matter. The kids knew one another from school. I was an outsider, the unknown kid in the neighborhood.
My school holidays were different. Public schools got out the week before Christmas and Easter and mine the week after leaving me with no one to play with. At parochial school we reverently observed religious holy days such as Good Friday while public school kids didn’t even know it was a religious day. Attending parochial resulted in my being a loner.
Baptism according to Catholic tenet leaves an indelible mark on one’s soul. I
can’t remember my baptism but the nun’s inculcate catechism left their
indelible mark. In 2nd grade I receive First Communion, a major Catholic event.
Requirements were memorizing the Our Father and Hail Mary prayers and the 10
Commandments. We also learned God was 3 in 1, God the Father, God the Son and
God the Holy Ghost. My wonderful 2nd grade teacher, Sister Mary Joseph, was
kind and could explain complicated religious concepts in 2nd grade
With trenchant logic she explained the Holy Trinity is already in us, God the Father in our mind, God the Son, Jesus in our heart and God the Holy Ghost in our soul and when we went to Communion they became one with us. She told us we had a guardian angel, always next to us we could talk to in our prayers so we were never alone and who protected us from Satan who was lurking about. She described the Blessed Virgin Mary as a super Mom who we could always call on in a pinch, a call I frequently made during life.
She also versed us in the 10 commandments so they weren’t just rote memorization
which I still can recite:
- I am the LORD your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
- You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
The 1st was easy enough; Mom and I attended Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation but I worried about Dad and those not Catholic. She explained they were just confused and God forgave and accepted them if they were good. When I asked, “God’s a man?” She winked and replied.
means God is everything, male, female, everything”