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Every morning,
Father Mason backed his car,
from the white frame shed,
along the high east wall
of the orphanage,
just as Sisters of St. Francis
led the children
in two silent columns
to their morning meal.

And always,
bringing to,
the sliding door,
of his barnlike shed,
he'd come around
the passenger side,
of his idling car,
from where he'd give
a friendly wave
to the children
passing down the way,
whose hearts, quite touched,
returned his wave.

Strapping and athletic,
his bearing tall,
a spirit, friendly
his thoughts,
lofty as an oak,
this was Father Mason,
diocesan director
of Catholic youth,
priest in residence,
at St. Vincent's Orphans' Home.

Renowned athlete
of Boston College,
he chose to serve the Lord
through His poor.

                                       Virgil Gelormino WB01345_.gif (616 byte)RETURN





Joe Joe DeJoy
was a sad-eyed boy
at S.V.O.

Quiet and taciturn
and all alone,
he'd rock on his swing,
to and fro,
to and fro,
his toe never parting
from the ground below;

to and fro,
to and fro,
sad-eyed Joe,
on the playground
at S.V.O.

passed in steady number;
and two times more,
yet Joe Joe never changed his mode.

Then our paths were severed
at our age eleven,
when I was taken
to another home
far from S.V.O.

Ten plus seven years passed
along our separate paths,
nine of them beyond the doors
of institutions past.

And now in summer,
I was back in Columbus,
locale of S.V.O.

As I walked along a sidewalk,
a sudden loud impassioned call
filled my ears.
"Luke! Luke! Luke!
Luke! Luke! Luke!
"Luuuke! Luuuke! Luuuke! Luuuke!"

I reeled to hear
my nickname Luke.

As time stood fast,
my spirit winged
to the carefree swings
warm camaraderie
on the playground
at S.V.O.

In a flash
the reverie passed,
as Joe Joe who called,
came rushing towards me,
grabbing me by the shoulders
and clasping his hand in mine.

Ten plus ten years passed
and I again was back
in Columbus town.

I stopped at the church
in quaint German Village
to chat with Father Mason,
former chaplain
at the orphan home.

He talked about the changing church
the changing priesthood,
and about Joe Joe.

How Joe Joe finally found success
as cook in a family restaurant;
How too too soon
an illness stilled his breath;
How when his death approached,
Joe Joe asked for just one favor:
to see the only parents
he'd ever known-
the former chaplains of S.V.O.

With warm compassion
to his bedside
came the chaplains of S.V.O.

Of the chaplains
Joe Joe made but one request:
that he be dressed in white
to meet his saving Lord.

And thus it was
that Joe departed
for his heavenly home.

What cataclysmic woe
befell Joe Joe in early life,
only God
Catholic Social Service know.

                                                                     Virgil Gelormino
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The conversation over,
I took leave of Father Mason.

As I stepped,
through the rectory door,
to my car,
I mused:

"Thirty-seven years have passed
since my boyhood,
when I saw him last,
yet he knew me,
as if no time had lapsed."

About to depart,
a figure suddenly caught my eye,
on the left side,
of my car.

Almost holding my breath,
I watched:

There was Father Mason,
larger than life,
straight as a ramrod,
in cassock and biretta,
ascending the dozen or more, steep steps,
into the front entrance,
of Saint Ladislaus Church,
in German Village.

He seemed to be taking great pride
in wearing his clerical garb,
at a time, not so fashionable.
He seemed to be charged
with an intense awareness
of his dedication
to the priesthood,
to the end.

Glimmers of Heaven
reached into the afternoon air.

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