From the book:
We were brought up Catholic and every Sunday morning my three older brothers and I were expected to go to church and listen to Father Murphy drone on about all the different ways we would go to Hell.
I didn’t like church or Father Murphy and his black billowing robes. He scared me, especially when he drank Jesus’ blood. The whole idea was more than a six or seven year old should have to hold onto (talk about nightmares). Also, not only did I have to wear a dress and hat, my patent leather shoes pinched my toes.
Occasionally, Mom accompanied us to church, but usually she stayed home with my father. He’d say, “Say hello to God for me.” Then he’d give me a quarter to put in the collection basket. This bothered me too. Everything inside the church was gold. Why did they need my money? Think of all the candy I could buy with a quarter.
Most Sunday mornings, Mom would get us kids up and fed, then push us out the door to walk to church and back. Dad (like Father Murphy) warned us to stay for the entire service. It was almost two miles one way, the service taking about forty-five minutes. Altogether we’d be gone for two hours plus; another reason I didn’t like it. Besides, why did we have to go if our parents got to stay home? I imagined God visited them at our house while we were gone. It just didn’t seem fair.
A few years ago, I woke up smiling from a dream about those Sunday mornings…the house empty but for the two of them, while we kids were busy finding religion.