Fr. Paul Richardson ssc

The ‘First Time Ever’ Altar Boy

By Fr. Paul Richardson ssc

My father was a bus driver in Boston and always worked the earliest possible shift, so he always got up early. It was his job to drive the first of the daytime busses out of the bus company garage at 6:30 in the morning. (There were two nighttime busses that drove around our town in apposite directions all night.) My father got up at 5:30 in the morning and left the house for work at 6:00 o’clock. Between the opening and closing of doors and other related noises, I was always wide awake when he left the house. And since I didn’t have to be at school until 8:15, I became very religious. The morning Mass on weekdays in our parish was 6:30 a.m. and I started going to Mass every day. The church was only ten minutes away from our house.

A Letter To Jerry

By: Fr. Paul Richardson

Columban Mission

About seven years ago, I was drinking coffee in a small coffee shop in a section of the town of Hinoba-an in Negros that is known as Dancalan Beach. Formerly, the area was almost completely Catholic, but over the years many of the people there have left the church to join a Filipino church known as the Iglesia ni Kristo (Church of Christ). Members of this church are extremely conservative, very anti-communist, and during the Marcos era, they were very supportive of his government. Almost invariably, these people tend to be very critical of the Catholic Church, especially of its social action programme. While I was drinking my coffee, a young boy accompanied by his friend came and sat down at the end of the table where I was seated, and I took their photo. The boy’s name was Jerry and both of his parents were members of the Iglesia ni Kristo, at the time that I took his picture, Jerry was carrying a home-made wooden toy armalite rifle. Looking again at the photo and recalling this incident seven years later, I wandered about the young man he has become. If I were able to locate him, this is the letter I would like to send him...