Since the arrival of Monsignor Murray work in the parish had tripled.This welcome change plus additional responsibilities for Sal found him overloaded.Besides all the day to day work he was on the Diocesan personnel board, and was finishing a Master’s degree in counseling. He honestly believed that there were not enough hours in the day, and for weeks he was going on three hours of sleep a night.One of the rare opportunities to catch up on sleep came through the grace of a terrible ice storm. The streets and roads were so bad that neither humans nor any other creature ventured outside.Jack and he ate an early dinner chatted for a bit, and then Sal climbed the stairs for what he hoped was actually eight hours of sleep.

His head hardly hit the pillow when he fell into a deep slumber.The sleep was so deep that initially he did not hear the calling of his name.Slowly waking he heard a knock on the bedroom door but thought it was a dream .The housekeeper opened the door and said there were two policemen downstairs who requested to see him. He hurriedly dressed and went downstairs hoping that it was not another time to tell a family that someone had died in a tragic accident. The officers were quite apologetic, but said that there had been a serious domestic dispute, and the shouting had alarmed the neighbors who called the police. When they arrived the couple was still in a shouting and pushing match, and they requested that they speak with Father La.

The ride from the rectory to the other side of town was quite harrowing and Sal was glad that he was not the one driving.After a series of skids and one actual complete spin they reached their destination. There was no need to ring the bell because the husband and wife were waiting for them in the foyer. They were both quite subdued, and dressed in pajamas and bath robes. The wife seemed sheepish, and finally asked what Sal thought of spanking. He thought to himself a good night’s sleep shot to hell for a lecture on child rearing. Somewhere between annoyance and downright anger at being deprived of sleep he mustered his best advice starting with it depends on the circumstances and the degree of spanking.Sal added that he was personally opposed to hitting children, because it teaches them that violence is acceptable. They both looked confused ,and the husband said”Father we are talking about sexual spanking.” Needless to say Sal had egg on his face, and tried quickly to regain balance in the discussion. The wife added “He wants me to spank him during sex and I don’t want to do it.”Trying to say something that remotely could be helpful ,and realizing that the two cops were howling in the living room Sal had no idea how to respond. He stumbled through some ridiculous advice ,and then made his way out to the front door.

In the car Sal teasingly said to the cops”I am sure that this tale would be told this morning at the station, but remember you are both Catholics, and if you ever come to me for confession the penances will be severe. They both laughed, and added that this had made their day.

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