Sal received word from Rome that his application for leaving the active ministry had been rejected. He had a suspicion that the Archbishop had not supported his decision and he completely understood. He believed that the Archbishop was hopeful that over a period of time Sal would change his mind. However, it was now time for him to move forward and to follow the urgings of his heart.
One of the parishioners from Westbury had moved to the west coast, and was currently an Executive Vice President with the Dymo Corporation in San Francisco.Luigi Contini was a brilliant leader, and a phenomenal developer of junior staff members.. He had a marvelous family, and they had been so gracious to Sal when they lived in his parish. Mary his wife was truly one-of-a-kind,,and everyone privileged to know her was changed for the better. They had seven marvelous children, and when invited to their home Sal felt like he might be an imposition with an extra person at the dinner table. Mary smiled and said”one more makes no difference because every night at our home is a dinner party”
During dinner Luigi with his steel trap mine explored what Sal was studying in graduate school. At the end of the meal Luigi offered Sal a consulting opportunity. Dymo was undergoing a cultural transformation because their business had grown exponentially in the past two years. Luigi wished that the senior management team could be on the same page, and thought Sal could accomplish this through a leadership program tailored to the needs of the senior staff. Excited by this opportunity Sal agreed to accept Luigi’s proposal, and engaged one of his professors to assist in the project.
Sal had dear friends in San Francisco and sought permission to stay with them instead of booking a hotel.Luigi had no difficulty in Sal taking them out to dinner, but he teased Sal by saying”but no $100 dollar bolttes of wine.”Maryellen McGlynn was a friend from Westbury who was working as a nurse at San Francisco General Hospital.. Emily one of her roommates was a nurse anesthetist, and a third roommate Helen was a resident physician in the emerging trauma medical unit. It was delightful staying with them, but it was a good thing that Sal had an expense account because the only food available in their apartment was stale Oreo cookies.
For the next six months Sal took them out for dinner, but one night Maryellen and Emily were working the night shifts and Helen had a rare night off. Sal invited her to dinner, and though he had been keenly aware of how bright she was having dinner with her alone was a unique experience .She was not only brilliant but also stunningly beautiful ,and had a special quality of being a superb listener. Dining at the GreekTaverna was a delightful evening , and Sal realized that he hoped there would be more opportunities for them to have dinner alone.