hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


May 15, 2014

The jelly doughnut First Communion


Add it up and you’ll be surprised to know that I, in fact, attended four churches as a child — but not at the same time, of course.

The jelly doughnut encounter left me with an indelible imprint in the pew. I sat on it.

Let me explain. It was Saturday and there I was, all decked out in my pristine white suit, ready to received God into my life. All those novenas with my mother, the Sunday School lessons, those nuns with their habits.

My mom sent me along at an advanced hour, looking forward to seeing me in church later. As for dad, business took precedence. Still, one parent at my First Communion was better than none at all.

On my way out the door, I grabbed a couple jelly doughnuts from the tray when nobody was looking. One was devoured en route to the church. Because I had no time to eat the other, into my back pocket it went for later, tucked inside a napkin.

The pastor was upright and stern in his homily to us children. He glanced over six pews of communicants and said, “Boys and girls, never lose your faith. When you are troubled, look to God for guidance. Always remember, God is everywhere.”

A thought quickly occurred to me: I hope he isn’t in my back pocket eating my jelly doughnut.

I quickly reached inside, checking on the contents, and all I felt was one mashed doughnut oozing with jelly, seeping right through my pocket. Had I not been wearing my white jacket, the stain would have been obvious to all.

How would I explain that to mom? So I delayed putting off the obvious by throwing myself a celebration. I passed the word, telling all my classmates there would be a party at the luncheonette following Mass.

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