Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Seeker After The Lost Sheep

In the comment section to the Mark Shea post I linked to here, I found this moving story:

I guess now would be as appropriate a time as any to tell the true story of my "gay" cousin, Rocky, and his path back into the Church.

Rocky's dad was a World War II hero who liberated one of the concentration camps in Nazi Germany. He was not amused when his only son began to arrange drapes into costumes for our family Christmas plays. Rocky was egregiously effeminate. By the time he was in college he was heavily involved in the "gay" scene - the whole nine yards - promiscuity, search for "Mr. Right", etc., etc. Finally, he settled down with a man who became his "partner." When the charismatic prayer group that he occasionally attended discovered his orientation and practice, he was told he was no longer welcome. Then began a long period of searching for the meaning of life in Eastern religions and esoteric and spurious forms of "spirituality." He was a very successful buyer for a major department store who often travelled to India and the Far East. He made scads of money, bought his widowed mother a fine home, and finally, contracted AIDS.

During one of his hospitalizations for an opportunistic infection in a Catholic hospital in New England, the head nurse said to the priest chaplain - "Father, you really need to visit Rocky ..... . He's very sick, you know." "I don't know, I really feel very uncomfortable around those people." An octogenarian nun in traditional habit overheard the chaplain. She walked up to "Father", shook her cane in his face and said "Get your butt in their and do your job, Father, or take off that collar and quit pretending to be a priest!"

My cousin Rocky overheard all this and didn't want to talk to "Father", but wanted to speak with this ancient nun.

This very conservative, traditionalist nun, walked in the room and said - "Hi, Rocky. I'm Sister Bonita! I hear you're "gay". Is that right?" "You've got it, Sister." "That means you groove on guys, right?" (This was the early eighties). "Boy, Sister, for a nun, you've been around the block!" "And, I'll bet you've had loads of lovers, right?" "Bingo, Sister."

"Well, have I got the One for you, Rocky! You'd just love Him. He's big and strong (did a lot of carpentry work with His Dad) and ever so kind and understanding. But He's really the jealous type! He wants to be Number One. But He'd never leave you, Rocky, and would support you in all your worst afflictions."

Rocky, by this point was in tears. To make a short story even shorter - he made a general confession (not to the chaplain), became a daily communicant, and died fortified by the sacraments. His former partner entered reparative therapy and is now happily married (to a woman).

Let's pray that Andrew Sullivan can find a Sister Bonita.

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