A 1908 Parable

bulletin 1908

 

 

 

 

The earliest (lonely) issue of a St. Francis de Sales Church bulletin in the Philadelphia archdiocesan archives is a single copy dated February, 1908 – four months after the cornerstone was laid for the present church (see the original chapel — the building housing today’s school auditorium — on the cover!). Regular publication didn’t begin until mid-1924. Now step into the time machine, and enjoy an excerpt from that first bulletin: a little moral tale filled with tiny details of life in 1908:

 

 

He Gave to the Lord”:

“Yesterday he wore a rose on the lapel of his coat, and when the plate was passed he gave a nickel to the Lord. He had several bills in his pocket and sundry change, perhaps a dollar’s worth; but he hunted about, and finding this poor nickel he laid it on the plate to aid the church militant in its fight against the world, the flesh and the devil. His silk hat was beneath the seat, and his gloves and cane were beside it, and the nickel was on the plate – a whole nickel. On Saturday afternoon he had a gin rickey at the “Queen’s,” and his friend had a fancy drink, while the cash register stamped thirty-five cents on the slip the boy presented to him. Peeling off a bill, he handed it to the lad, and gave him a nickel tip when he brought back the change. A nickel for the Lord and a nickel for the waiter! And the man had his shoes polished on Saturday afternoon and handed out a dime without a murmur. He had a shave and paid fifteen cents with equal alacrity. He took a box of candies home to his wife and paid forty cents for them, and the box was tied with a dainty bit of ribbon. Yes, but he also gave a nickel to the Lord. Who is the Lord? Who is He? Why the man worships Him as Creator of the universe, the One who puts the stars in order, and by whose immutable decree the heavens stand. Yes, he does, and he dropped a nickel in to support the Church militant. And the man knew that he was but an atom in space, and he knew that the Almighty was without limitations, and knowing this, he put his hand in his pocket and picked out a nickel and gave it to the Lord. And the Lord being gracious and slow to anger, and knowing our frame, did not slay the man for the meanness of his offering, but gives him this his daily bread. But the nickel was ashamed, if the man wasn’t. The nickel hid beneath a quarter that was given by a poor woman who washes for a living.”

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