Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book: Treasure in Clay

The non-fiction book I'm reading right now is the Autobiography of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. I have a great and abiding affection for this man that I can't quite explain. He was an excellent speaker and teacher, and they still show his old tv show 'Life is Worth Living' on EWTN.

Anyway, I found this story amusing.

To preface it, he was discussing his singing ability, or rather, lack thereof. To quote: "I was among those who could hardly carry a key on a ring."

So then, after his ordination, he relates this experience offering Mass:

"The same year I was to offer Holy Week Eucharist in St. Patrick's Church in Washington. The liturgy of that week is slightly different from that of other days of the year and I was a bit concerned as to whether I could do it properly. One of the directions given in Latin during the course of the Holy Saturday liturgy was to sing Alleluia three times. There are about forty-nine notes in that Alleluia, which would test even the skills of a Caruso. I did my best to give utterance to all those black notes in the missal. I gave a sigh of relief at the end of the Alleluia, but old Monsignor Thomas, the pastor, who wore purple socks, shouted out from the sacristy in the hearing range of the entire congregation: 'Sing it again!' I sang it again, simply because he ordered me to do it. When I finished the second effort, again in still louder tones, he cried: 'Sing it again!' which I did in reluctant obedience and feeling very stupid for having to do so. But then I noticed at the end of the Latin directive about singing the Alleluia the little word 'ter', which means three times."

I find this very, very amusing. So I share.


  1. LOL Oh that is too funny.

    I dont really recall hearing about him before. He sounds interesting.

  2. I love watching Bishop Sheen. Thanks for the heads up on the book. Off to the library I go!

  3. LK,

    He is very interesting, and is, apparently, considered a very 'conservative' person, at least judging by the stink-eye I got from someone in RCIA when I quoted him. :) He did a lot to fight against communism and was very big into aiding the poor all around the world.

  4. Mamajuliana,

    Glad to share! :) I honestly just love listening to him speak - I used to fall asleep with his show on. :) (Which is not commentary on him in the negative, you understand.) And this book, I can almost hear him talking.

  5. aw, cute story! :) He does seem a wonderful guy!

  6. Susanne,

    I thought you might enjoy it. He was a wonderful man. *is sad she never got to meet him*


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