Saturday, January 19, 2013
Who's that knocking at the door?
My fraternity has moved from its previous meeting site - a hospice that is not handicapped accessible, and is in a rough neighborhood with poor parking lot lighting - to my parish. As a member of the parish, I was the contact person during the negotiations, and when the parish gave us a key to get into the parish center for the meetings, I was given the key.
I am the key man.
I am the doorkeeper.
Goo Goo Ga Joob.
My role is to arrive early, unlock the outside door, turn on the heat, unlock the door to the meeting room, turn on the lights in the room and the bathrooms, and rearrange the furniture in the room to set up for the meeting. I make sure that any snow is shoveled off the steps and ramp leading up to the door. I keep an eye on the outside door until the meeting starts, and then I lock it. Anyone who arrives late has to call the minister's cell phone to be let in. Running to let them in is my job. At the end of the meeting, after everyone has cleared out of the room, I rearrange the furniture, turn off all the lights, and make sure all the doors are locked.
I like this role. It's the kind of "leadership" role with which I'm comfortable. It's specific. I am doing something. I'm serving others in a direct way.
I was thinking of the some of the saints who have been doorkeepers - Brother Andre, for example. But more specifically, Venerable Solanus Casey - a Franciscan.
I've always had an affection for Father Casey. I admire his humility, his patience, his positive outlook, his life of service. I even got to visit the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit.
There used to be a tradition among Secular Franciscans of adopting a saint at one's profession. I guess it's like the old tradition among some religious orders of taking on a saint's name when professing. We don't do that any more at my fraternity. I don't know if that was a local decision, or if it's something national. If we did start doing it again, even though my middle name is Francis, and even though I'm already professed, I'd like to choose Venerable Solanus Casey. I mentioned that to a couple of the fraternity leaders. They said it might be a practice the fraternity could perhaps restore.
I'd love to have a special relationship with a holy doorman. What a worthy model.
Pax et bonum