Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bishop Fitzgerald of Winona, MN, was raised in Cresco,Iowa. He had been a friend of my mother in his youth—so when I was a Dominican novice in Winona, he HAD to visit me, however reluctantly.

(One reason for his lack of enthusiasm was an earlier meeting we’d had when I was a layman. I visited his mansion in Dubuque,Ia; his mother had been maid to my grandmother Lyons. She grabbed my hand with one claw,saying “Be sure to tell your folks how good we got it here!” and showed me the bathroom faucets plated with gold.
He fumed silently.)

Monks/Friars have an edgy relationship with bishops; the priests in our friary were not best-pleased to have him announce the visit, but accepted.

I entered the room where he sat and threw myself prostrate at his feet. Then I got to my knees, and moved forward to kiss his ring. Then I stood up and we shook hands, and held a short conversation.

Eyeing the corpulent priests in the room, he said cattily, “I’m glad you joined the Dominicans; they eat well.”/

“Your Grace,” I replied, “My impression is that ALL clergy eat well.”

The interview ended shortly afterwards.

No comments: