Longtime parishioners reflect on memories of Sacred Heart
Catholic Courier    |    12.20.2009
Category: Cathedral Renovation

The Cathedral Renovation Committee asked longtime members of Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish to submit their memories of the cathedral for inclusion in this commemorative issue. Some of them appear below:
 
“One weekday morning, we were waiting for Mass to begin. It was five after eight, and nothing was happening. Then an altar boy came into the sanctuary from the side followed by Bishop McCafferty, who was walking a little fast. He clipped the boy’s heel and he went head over shoulders onto the carpet. The bishop stopped and announced that he was running late because of those Timex watches.”
— Dave and Julie Boland
40 years at Sacred Heart
 
“My life has been filled with many precious memories associated with Sacred Heart, … the church of my baptism and the baptisms of my eight children. There is one memory that stands out: When I was about six years old, my mother and I were talking with Msgr. (George) Burns in front of the church, and I innocently asked why girls couldn’t serve on the altar. Ouch! My mother grabbed a parental hold on my arm and we retreated. At that time, I never did receive an answer from Msgr. Burns or my mother. It’s gratifying to know that such a question would not be asked in our church today.”
— Patricia Saxe
75 years at Sacred Heart
 

“I remember when I was five years old, my Dad had me by the hand and we walked up over a plank into the cathedral for the first time, before the floor was in. It’s my oldest memory of anything at all, and I was in awe. That was 1927.”
— Joseph Maid
80 years at Sacred Heart
 

“In 1966, Bishop Fulton Sheen, the well-known TV personality, was installed as bishop of our diocese here at Sacred Heart. Then in 1968, two auxiliary bishops were consecrated here — Bishop Dennis Hickey and Bishop John McCafferty. Our son, Mark, was a member of the Sacred Heart Boys Choir, which provided music for both of these events.”
— Ed and Rosemary Hahn
48 years at Sacred Heart
 

“I remember Christmas Eve days filled with pie-baking and cookie making. The designated child has created the obligatory hand-made ornament that Father Miller would hang on the parish tree before the Mass. The cathedral is blazing with light, gold banners flowing the length of the pillars, poinsettias at their feet. The caroling begins; the procession carries the babe to the manger. The volume of sound increases as programs rustle and children wail. As I receive Communion, it all hits me. I’m overcome with the enormity of God’s love. What do we have to return for so rich a gift. Only ourselves.”
— Patricia Young
36 years at Sacred Heart
 

“A few years ago, I was having some difficult times personally. I was struggling. And then one Saturday morning, my wife Peg, said, ‘Get in the car.’ She drove me to Sacred Heart and told me to go inside and that she’d be back in an hour. I was the only one in church, and I sat there, reading from my prayer book and thinking and praying, looking at the statue of the Sacred Heart, which was lit. And then finally, I had this sense of peace. I knew that everything would be all right. I turned around, and Peg was waiting for me in the back of church.”
— Deacon Lynn Kershner
36 years at Sacred Heart
 

“This is a memory of comfort. It was the summer of 1982, and I was in the throes of a divorce. During the week, at work or at home with my girls, I remained stoic, whatever it took. But on Sundays or during little visits to the cathedral during the week, it seemed as though I was open to Him, as though I could not hide anything from Him, as though His arms were around me, and the tears flowed freely. That’s what got me through it all, and many of life’s bumps in the meantime.”
— Kathleen Parr
35 years at Sacred Heart
 

“My family moved to Rochester from Ithaca in 1958, which was my senior year in high school. I remember that year that my friends in the neighborhood who went to Nazareth and the other Catholic schools got their report cards from Bishop Casey, who stood out front of the cathedral after Mass and commented to each child by way of admonishment or encouragement as he gave them their cards. Obviously, he knew what the cards reported.”
— Kathleen B. LaBue
46 years at Sacred Heart

Copyright © 2009 Catholic Courier, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.