Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Odd Saint

Martin Sheahan (cousin to Mary Wright Lyons; brother to CookCountySheriff Mike Sheahan): He was no flaming liberal. Neither of his Southside-Chicago parents was friendly toward blacks. He ranted over Dem.Party’s close association with gays.
But on a Sunday afternoon when he saw a heavy black woman trapped in burning car, he immediately stopped and rassled her out to safety.Then he went home, went in to take a shower, and died of a heart attack at age of 50.After his death, the family heard from people they didn’t know, whom Martin had helped in one way or another (the best criterion for saintliness).MARTIN AND THE SHRINENear 117th st.So, stands perhaps the ugliest church in the city. It wasn’t a parish church, but a shrine to the Sacred Heart (who built it?)
They had a super-late Sunday Mass, so all the young rogues of the Ryan/Sheahan/Wright clan went there. The place was full of super-ugly, life-size statues.
The local pastors complained because attendance at the shrine meant less income for them. Cardinal Cody (infamous for allegedly giving a huge amount of church money to an allegedly incestuous cousin)—Cody ordered The Shrine closed and sold off the statues (who would buy them?)[We always wondered if rogue-priest-author Andrew Greeley had Cody in mind in his book titled THE CARDINAL SINS.]
Martin Sheahan was enraged at Cody’s move. He appealed to the Vatican, and finally, the shrine had to be re-opened and the statues bought back !So after his funeral (at his parish church), the long, long cortege detoured past The Shrine.The doors were opened and the bells rung in honor of TheShrine’s saviour as the cortege passed.

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