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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Six Degrees

Please pray for PFC Patrick J. Martin USMC, and all these guys, for a safe return home from the War. I'm a cradle Catholic. But sometimes it even slips my mind that "Catholic" means universal. Most of us have heard about "Six Degrees of Separation." i.e. Any two given people on the planet are more than likely not to be connected through knowing at most six people in a chain. I.E. We both know the same person - that's "one degree" of separation. I know Sparky Jones, so do you. Sparky is the "one degree." Or I know Sparky, who knows Suzie, who knows you. Two degrees between me and you. The trick is to figure out WHICH people separate you. I've always figured that any two Catholics pretty much qualify for this or anyone who knows a Catholic. You probably know your priest, your priest knows your bishop (who has to do an ad limina every so often, so he's met the pope) and down the chain back to you. Pope JPII through his many years of office was the lynchpin for this. And of course, add all the people you know to this chain. Some links can be cut. I may know the bishop who may know your bishop who may know you directly. TWO degrees of separation. Cool.

Okay, got that?

St. Mary's Cathe-
dral. Now here's where it all comes to-
gether. I was visiting the Cathedral in Wichita for Sunday Mass. Afterwards I stopped in front of the tabernacle for a bit to pray. Right next to it, was a nice poster of all the servicemen from that parish (or friends/family members of people in that parish.) I saw a couple go up to the poster and hold hands for a few minutes, and when they came back I asked "a relative?" They said "Yes, our son." I inquired as to his name so I could pray for him as "I'm from San Diego, and our parish has a lot of active serving members." They said "That's our hometown too. We just moved here last year." I said "What was your parish?" And they said "Santa Sophia." I said "Ah, then you must have known Father Prendergast, who was there a long time, before he was pastor at the San Diego Mission." Indeed they did know him. I knew him from back in the 1970s, when he was at my parish in Old Town. He has come back to the parish to live "in residence" following his recent retirement. Small world. Of course I will pray for PFC Martin, who is currently stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, and the others. Sometimes it's nice seeing the meaning of the word in literal action.

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