I Caught Christ | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

I Caught Christ

By Jimmy Cvetic


Defining moments and milestones
That is the Ode to Joy
Ode to Joy ...
I was an altar boy at St. Lawrence O'Toole
And proud as a rooster in my cassock
And this was in the days of Latin Mass
Nuns swishing rosary beads
And drunks singing loud and off-key
Smell of cheap wine
Smell of incense
And the long dry sermons of Priests
Who would babble on and on about sins of the flesh and
Guess I was too young to understand any sins of the flesh
Except having the woo for Mary Sweeny who was
Cute as patent leather shoes
And I guess that weren't really a sin
Because all the boys had the woo for Mary Sweeny.
I remember as if it were yesterday
Some would call it fate or
Some call it chance
But sometimes the stars line up and
I was serving mass for Monsignor Campbell
Who was older than the Bible
And his Mass was longer than
A slow rosary prayed by an old nun on
A hot summer day ...
Anyway, I was assigned to carry the paten
As Monsignor distributed the Eucharist to all sinners that
Wanted the body of Christ on their fat tongues.
I actually loved holding the gold paten
Under the fat chins
And watched them put their tongues out
And I know I'm not supposed to think like this
I always wanted to whack a couple of those transgressors
Right in the throat with the gold paten as they were gaping like
Baby robins wanting to be fed with holiness.
I knew most of them from the neighborhood
And I knew some of them beat their wives and kids
And I knew a couple were falling-down drunks
And a couple of them probably ate meat on Fridays
And were probably responsible for the nails in the hands and feet of Christ
The fakers
The frauds
But it was always the same
They'd walk up and kneel down
And wait for the consecrated bread to be placed on the tongue
Those without sin
Holy and pure
And I'd think right
Sure ...
And always the same
Monsignor would place the Body of Christ
But one time the stars did line up
And I already told you, call it fate or chance
Monsignor accidentally hit some fat woman on her fat lip
And missed her fat tongue
And dropped the host.
And I felt like Willie Mays
I saw the white host falling almost in slow motion
And holding my ground
And bing-bang
I caught the Body of Christ.
It landed in the middle of my paten
And everything became more holy
Like a Gregorian Chant inside my head
My heart was pounding like the church organ
I caught Christ
I caught Christ
My God
My God
I fell to one knee
I caught Christ
And a tear fell from my eye and I looked up at the stained glass window of Saint Michael
Slaying a dragon
And knew I was blessed
And as I stood up I saw the rear end of Mary Sweeny
And just knew everything would always be all right.

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