Sunday, August 7, 2011

Get Thee to the Church: St. Mary of the Assumption, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

It's where I first started attending Mass with Joe, and where we met Father Joseph Jenkins, who married us (check out this post to see where). It's where I entered the RCIA program in the fall after our marriage (and I remember sitting on the couch in the rectory with the other candidates watching a videotape of a person I'd never heard of named Scott Hahn), and where, with my family in attendance, I was received into the Catholic faith. It was where Father Joe heard my very first confession and many more after that. (Did I ever tell you about the time in the confessional, after absolving me, a quite sick Father Joe asked me if I wouldn't mind running to the supermarket just up the road and getting him some NyQuill? He had a Mass to do and didn't have time. I was happy to oblige, of course; Father handed me a few dollars--so much for my anonymous confession--I got the medicine he needed, and left it and the change on the table in the confessional so he could find it after Mass. I like to joke that it was my best penance ever.) And it was where Larry was baptized--screaming his head off the whole time, and with a full diaper to boot.

We decided last weekend that it was high time we took the kids there for a Sunday Mass. We wanted them to see the place that was our parish so many years ago. Larry was too young to remember it; he was just under a year old when we moved to where we live now. It looked almost exactly the same. Except for a new coat of paint and the outdoor Stations of the Cross that wasn't there before, I smiled when I saw the same altar, the same tabernacle, the same slightly uncomfortable pews (I didn't mind, and the kids didn't complain); even the same cantor and the same deacon. There was a different priest, of course (who was wonderful, I might add), and after Mass I made sure I said Hello to Deacon K. I wasn't sure if he'd remember us, but he did.

A familiar sight. I remember the paint being a pale blue, though.

I forgot to look for the baptismal font. I wonder if they still have the one Father Joe used to Baptize Larry? Probably...

My favorite picture of Father Joe. Larry wasn't too happy that day, as you can see.

During Mass, the congregation used to recite the prayer to St. Michael, something we don't do at the church we attend now.

The parish hall, where I took RCIA, with Joe as my sponsor. Looks like it needs some work.

The outdoor Stations of the Cross were put in during the 13+ years since we left.

I wonder if this little statue of Our Lady was here before? I don't remember. I want one.

After Mass we took the boys to Grizzly's, the restaurant (ahem, dive bar) we frequented every Friday night. It hadn't changed much; the fare and decor was pretty much the same. I'm happy to report that they still have the best wings, really, we've never tasted wings better than these;

and the gi-normous beers they're most known for.

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