Early Morning Mass โœ๏ธ (age 12)

Please allow me to introduce myself.
I’m a man of wealth and taste.
I’ve been around for a long, long year,
Stole many a man’s soul and faith.
And I was ’round when Jesus Christ,
Had his moment of doubt and pain.
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate…

~Rolling Stones – Sympathy for The Devil

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I remember the days of girlhood when I could run forever, jump high, skip rope, swim the lake and turn cartwheels. I was this little girl with black curly hair, green eyes, a few freckles and a quick smile.ย  I was full of energy, giggles and good ideas.ย  I knew the rules and I almost always followed them.ย  I went to church on Sundays and sang all the hymns, firmly clasping hands with my neighbours at the peace of Christ.ย  I was the good girl.

CROSSSo, when my new parish priest made an announcement inviting girls to be altar servers, I was so happy.ย  I really wanted to be an altar server. ย I wanted to ring the bell, on the altar, during mass with the whole congregation watching, like I had watched the boys do so many times.

Training ensued with Father 0โ€™Malkey. There were ten of us and we needed to be taught what was what. How to wear the robe. How to prepare the altar. When to ring the bell. He was very strict and he taught us to be exact. Serious. Precise.

Then the day came for my debut as an altar server. It went well. I had been to hundreds of masses. I kinda had a sense of how it all worked, by then. I was on the schedule and looked forward to being the sole server during a week of early morning masses. I would ride my bike the mile to church, leaving home after breakfast at 7 am, making sure my school bag had my basketball uniform and shoes for practice after school. At 7 am the world wouldnโ€™t even be awake yet. It was a fresh perspective. Funnily enough, it made me feel a little homesick. I shook it off and soldiered on.girl on bike on road

Arriving at the church, I took a moment to notice the beautifully groomed grounds leading to the large oak door to the sacristy. The church was ultra modern, brick and wood with a non-steeple. Curved walk ways and parking lot surrounded by green groomed lawns, shaded by tall mature hardwoods. I parked my bike – no helmets back then. ย I had tucked my pant leg into my socks to ย safeguard it from the chain. ย I righted this and as I did so, felt butterflies a flutter in my belly.

candle-flamesOpening the door I sniffed the familiar church scent of burning candles mixed with a slight residue of incense. ย On my left was a wall of smooth oak paneling. Or so it seemed. I found the hidden handle and pulled. ย Reluctantly, and with a sucking sound, the massive closet door opened and into it I put my school bag and jacket. As I closed the door, Father Oโ€™Malkey appeared and somewhat startled me. ย He wore a big creepy smile as he approached, saying, โ€˜Good morning, Morgan!โ€™ย  He wrapped his large arm around my small shoulders, his man hand landing on my budding chest. In slow motion and with an out-of-body awareness, I witnessed and felt his large hand squeeze my young breast. ย Then both hands took my shoulders and he propelled me to the next cupboard which held my gown and hastened me to prepare for mass, perhaps not wanting me to dwell on what had just happened.snow_GIRL

Later that day, as soon as I could get Mom alone, I told her about it, not wanting to go back the next morning.ย  She said, โ€˜Oh Morgan, you must be mistaken.ย  Father Oโ€™Malkey is a priest.ย  A priest would never do that.โ€™ Then she encouraged me to be a good girl and go back the next day.

GIRL SILOUETTE IN SKY

Every morning was a repeat performance by Father O’Malkey: the smiley greeting, the man-hand grope, the hastening to mass. Years later, I began to wonder if he had orchestrated girl altar servers – the first in the history of the parish – so that he would have his pick of girls to fondle.

As soon as I could get away with it, I quit altar serving and eventually, I quit Catholicism. Any organization with forced celibacy is going to be a problem for someone.

alone little girl walking in rain on railway

7 thoughts on “Early Morning Mass โœ๏ธ (age 12)

  1. The last line absolutely hits the nail on the head. But I wonder whether those who have peculiar fetishes are particularly drawn to religious institutions which turn a blind eye due to service in the โ€œname of godโ€.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Iโ€™m not sure if they are drawn or if they are trying to โ€˜fixโ€™ themselves by being enshrouded in the church – an instrument of peace. Once there, the forced celibacy may do the harm and then they canโ€™t contain their fetish. Who knows??!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my how confusing and frightening this must of been. So sorry you were alone dealing with this. A priest my ass …the last line does narrow it down. Makes me wonder how many little girls were targeted

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We need to LISTEN to our children when they come to us. Really listen. Our children are the most precious things we have – not sick, weird priests. When my son was this age, he was the target of a twenty-something pervert who actually got he and a buddy into his car and went to the next town. Leo called me from the perv’s car and when the perv heard my scared, loud voice coming through the phone, he exclaimed: ‘we’re heading back now – no worries – we’ll be there in ten minutes.’ When I had Leo and he was safe inside the house, I got into the perv’s face and told him: ‘if you EVER come near my son again I WILL SKIN YOU ALIVE!!!!’. Well, years later, that guy has JUST turned himself in for three counts of luring of a child, making sexually explicit material available to a child and invitation to sexual touching. I KNEW IT. I had the sixth sense that we MUST listen to in these things. Question is, does EVERYONE have the sixth sense, or just those of us who have been inappropriately ‘touched’??

      Like

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