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  • 1. Typhoid

    Most thought it came in Mrs. Pichetti’s tomato sauce that Gigi shared with us. The Pichetti family got typhoid and then so did 24 aspirants in our class of 36. They took us to a separate wing in the hospital, and the rest of the class was quarantined at the convent. We had such high fevers our hair and eyebrows fell out and we were skin and bones. It’s a miracle no one died. They didn’t tell our families at first; anyway, we couldn’t have visitors. Later they brought us week-old newspapers, and after we read them they were burned.

    2. Confession

    After a month in the hospital, there was a week before summer break. Sister Leora said, “It’s time to go to confession.”
    I was too weak to kneel, so I stood. Father asked: “How long has it been since your last confession?”
    “I don’t know,” I answered.
    “I have been so sick!”
    “Oh, all right then, just say your sins.”
    “I can’t remember those either! I’m sorry, I just can’t!”
    There was a pause. “I don’t think you committed many sins during this time anyway, so I’ll absolve you and you will leave in the good grace of God.”

    photo: original can be found at
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