Judging by the many comments I received on my FaceBook page when I posted the photo above, I thought I had better give you an additional explanation of Carl Crosier’s journey to this place in his life.
It began at Queen of Angels Roman Catholic Church in Port Angeles, WA, Carl’s first contact with the Catholic Church. Carl was born in Seattle and baptized at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Angeles where his mother’s family lived and worshipped (You might go back and re-read my post “Roots”). He had good friends who attended both the church and the parochial school at Queen of Angels, and whenever he was invited to come along to masses and special events, he felt very much at home. “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” was a phrase that stayed with him. (Remember, these were the days of the Latin mass.)
Just as he was not faithful in his church attendance during his college years, those years coincided with the Vatican II reforms. He had little contact with the church during that time, but in later years, he embraced his Lutheran roots and returned, occasionally at Catholic churches where he felt at home with the liturgy. He always considered Martin Luther to be a Catholic who reformed the Church. In his years working at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, it was always the Catholic connections to which he was devoted and drawn.
Father William (aka Bill Kunisch who was the intern at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu over twenty years ago; himself born and raised a Lutheran), has been a spiritual mentor to Carl. Shortly after retiring, Carl began to regularly attend the Saturday Vigil Masses at St. Theresa’s Co-Cathedral where Father William was the rector for six years. When Carl expressed an interest in finding out more about the Catholic Church, Father William shared a book with him, “Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs,” by Alan Shreck. It turned out to be a life-changing read, and he feels like he is not giving up any of his Lutheran heritage and beliefs. He continues to revere and cherish his Lutheran roots, but considers the Roman Catholic Church a vehicle for a larger spiritual life.
While his colleague from St. Andrew’s Cathedral, John Renke, happened to be visiting Carl in the hospital, Father William serendipitously called on the telephone. The decision to perform the rite of Confirmation and Reception came about at 10:00 am with the ceremony set for 1:30 pm. A few quick phone calls of invitation to close friends happened , so around Carl’s hospital bed were Father David Gierlach (rector of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church — my boss!), Mary Reese (who was the Compline Mother at LCH and a long-time supporter), Sue Ann Wargo and Sandy Theunick from St. Andrew’s Priory, John Renke and me, of course.
Of course I gasped when Carl took communion as the chart on the wall said “Ice chips OK” and I didn’t think the hospital meant that that included the Body of Christ!