Archbishop John Vlazny
Archbishop John Vlazny

At the end of April, I wheeled my elderly, disabled husband, John, into the yearly dinner fundraiser at O’Hara Catholic School to help support the Carmel of Maria Regina.

This cloistered community of Carmelite nuns spends much of their time in contemplation and prayer. They also work hard, earning some money by making religious objects and distributing altar bread used by approximately 80 customer churches from Alaska to northern California.

This fundraiser was a continuation of last year’s as the convent roof still needs fixing. There was a nasty hang-up over permits. 

I wondered how my husband would do during this three-hour program. We were very happy to have a homily by Archbishop Emeritus John Vlazny. Would I be lucky enough to get his attention to come over to my husband? Would he recognize my John?

After an uplifting speech, the archbishop waded into the crowd and was in the middle of being thanked profusely.

I wriggled my way to the archbishop and I took his hand. He followed me to our table.

“There you are!” the archbishop said. Enthusiastically, he made the sign of the cross on my husband’s forehead as my John smiled broadly.

R. Ann Sumich