Friday, September 5, 2008


Sounds almost like the Who, What, or Where Game from the early 1970's (Art James was host).

Taken from the Catholic Caveman.

What were you doing when these things happened?

1. President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963
In illo tempore, I was almost two months in my birth-mother's womb (I was adopted at five months old).

2. England's World Cup Semi Final v Germany - 4 July 1990
I really can't remember exactly, but probably watching the fireworks at McCoy Stadium. We had just ordered Worship II at Precious Blood Church in Woonsocket that week, not long before they were put out of print. The guy I had talked to at GIA had tried to push Worship III, but I insisted (as did my boss at the time, the late Fr. Gagne) on II.

3. Margaret Thatcher's resignation - 22 November 1990
(Ah yes, the 27th anniversary of JFK's death) I really can't remember. I can tell you where I was organist/music director then... (still) Precious Blood Church.

4. Princess Diana's death - 31 August 1997
I was just a couple of months into my new job at St. Benedict's in Warwick. I left Precious Blood about a year and a half after Fr. Gagne retired. The new administrator (who was a pastor elsewhere in the city) put the Worship II hymnals "in storage", in favor of the Music Issue. His new music director: a guitarist! What a waste of a beautiful Aeolian-Skinner organ! Ironically, he's now a monsignor (he got the title just a couple of months before I left). In the parish bulletin, he wrote, "People are wondering what to call me. Please continue to call me 'Father John'". True story.

5. Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001
I had just gotten home from work about an hour before. I was working third shift at a courier depot with my brother Glen (his shift started about 5 AM, mine ended about 7 or 8 AM) to supplement my income at Holy Name (not that Holy Name paid poorly - Fr. Fisette really did the best he possibly could; the working conditions were impeccable - pipe organs in both church and chapel, Worship III in the pews after just a year (with Fr. Santos now pastor, they're STILL there, they didn't get put into storage like the W2's did at the other parish). At the same time, my wife was at her mother's helping her sister make candles for her family's candle business. It was shortly after - about 9:00-ish - when she came home with the news.

6. The election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy - 19 April 2005
I remember this one perfectly. I was sitting in my parlor, and when I heard the phrases "Habemus Papam", "Josephum Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Ratzinger", and "Benedicti Decimi-Sexti" in a two-minute span, I was cheering as if the Red Sox had won ANOTHER World Series. My wife was in the kitchen at the time and didn't know what to make of it.

Incidentally, on the day of Pope John Paul II's death - 2 April 2005 - I was getting rolled out of my hospital room on my way to the OR to have my gall bladder removed.

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