Hankies & Pillowcases

02-pillows-ironThat’s all my mother allowed me to iron. Whether it was because I was 10 years old or that she knew my future, I was limited to those two items. The wine bottle with the serrated top provided the sprinkles of water and the heavy iron did the steaming work. Nothing fancy in those days just what you needed to get the job done. I was not allowed to iron shirts. That seemed to take a little extra knowledge or experience. I remember wondering when the time would come when I could arrive at “shirt” ironing?

Did you know that when you’re ordained a priest that you are now able to teach, preach, budget a budget, hire/fire, be with the sick and dying, compassionately listen to confessions, happily marry two 18 year-olds, commend the deceased to God’s care, play basketball, humor senior citizens, build buildings, develop strategies and initiatives, counsel troubling marriages and encourage promising marriages, deal with loneliness and return to an empty house or to a house full of other people dealing with the same issues as me?

Finding your gift and embracing it can be the greatest gift you can give to the Church. Parishes are now open for me. If I were one of five candidates I wouldn’t have a chance. (I could list the reasons but that’s self-serving.) If I’m the only candidate to assume a pastorate where once five priests dwelled and four of them vied for a house key than I’m hardly a candidate. (I’m just the last guy standing who’s still breathing.)

Although tonight I ironed four shirts pretty well perhaps mother was right. I need to stick with hankies and pillowcases. They’re both flat and easy and iron and I know how to do them quite well.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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