st. mary with mary statueIn the 50‘s and 60’s, parish priests held powerful sway.

And none was more powerful than St. Mary’s Pastor—Father Augustine F. Burns.

Rotund and rubicund, with a bulbous nose, Father took to the pulpit, each Sunday, to pound the lectern, enjoining parishioners to ‘give more’ to the church, suggesting their souls might be at risk.

Unconcerned about my soul, I worried about his health, as I awaited the coronary I was sure would come.

Church-goers quipped others needn’t bother going  to church…

For our Pastor’s voice would go to them, as it thundered through the valley.

In a poor town, parish priests needed to fill the coffers any way they could.

PS…How many of you remember him? Care to share your story?(Some have already done so on the 3 West Warwick pages of Facebook, where I put this post, as well.)

From “In the Shadow of Princes

(a future book, about growing up in West Warwick, by author and Prov Journal commentator, Colleen Kelly Mellor)

P.P.S. Many comments are on the 3 FB pages “You’re probably from West Warwick if…” to which I added this post…Check them out and add your own. It’s been informative, indeed.