Meals at Holy Trinity rectory were almost inedible. The cook Aggie was truly a lovely person who took great pride in her work. Sal and Jack went to extraordinary lengths to avoid hurting her feelings. On more than one occasion they brought large mailing envelopes to dinner, and placed their food into the envelopes .Once the dinner was over and Aggie was out of sight they opened the back door and discarded them in the garbage cans. On Thanksgiving when Aggie brought the turkey to the table Jack whispered to Sal“It looks like it was hit by a Greyhound bus.”: One saving element was that Father Flannery was a gourmet cook who would at least once a week create a superb meal for Jack and Sal.
Jack had really mastered his sea legs, and was making a significant impact on the parish. He had the uncanny ability to attract persons that often were marginalized by society. Once a visiting priest from Washington was in Jack’s confessional and the penitent who had a real speech difficulty believed that it was Jack in the box.The penitent made a series of guttural sounds and the visiting priest found it impossible to understand the words. Totally flustered he finally blurted out:Whatever the hell you did don’t do it again.”
One night while Sal was on duty the phone rang at three o’clock in the morning. Sal bolted out of bed and while picking up the phone began to get dressed. Calls at that hour of the morning were almost always some accident or tragedy.”Hello this is Father La Greca.” A female voce said”I would like to speak with Father Murphy.”Sal inquired” is this an emergency because if it is I will try to help you.”She responded after a long pause.:Father it has been a very difficult day ,and I am trying to figure things out.
There was quite a long pause before she went on, and Sal patiently waited “I usually talk these issues through with my husband,my boyfriend ,my therapist or Father Murphy.The problems are doozies so tonight I was not sure who to talk to so I put all their names into a baseball cap.I shook the names up and picked one out of the hat. I wound up picking Father Murphy’s name. I really want to speak to him.”
Sal after hearing the details said”If you will wait on the line I will go and get Father Murphy.” Sal walked down the stairs to Jack’s bedroom entered and shook Jack.”Wake up Jack you just won a lottery.”