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  • I stood looking down at the college chapel from the fourth floor dorm room that I shared with Manon, a nursing student. I thought, "How can I not keep going to morning mass when I used to drive to go to mass in Tawau?" No. The chapel was right there, beside O'Leary Hall.

    So I kept going to mass every day. There was the chaplain, the Sisters, and me. There were times, few and far between, when another student would be there. And then I would feel I stood out less.

    I just loved Morning Mass at the Elms.

    Once I sat there early for once and thought math thoughts, if I go to Mass everyday, and I do, practically everyday, that means I attend 350 masses a year, and you are obliged to go only once a week, which is 52 times a year, and I go for four years (I went to 6:00 am mass, like the Convent girls - my grandmother in me - at the Holy Trinity Church, Tawau, for a year before I came to America, it was so easy, the church sitting near the road on the way to work)...I would fulfil the Catholic obligation to practice their religion, when? In one-seventh the time...

    Good thing mass started so I did not finish working it out. What if it's sacrilegious.

    The summer before my Junior year, Sr Mary Murray, History professor, asked me if I could help her do some work in the chapel as her assistant. She took care of preparations when there were weddings at the chapel.

    Sr Mary mentioned a bride-to-be who enrolled at Elms College for one course so she could marry in Our Lady Chapel. I remember one wedding, everything was white - the runner, the bows on the pews. The bride and bridegroom had big bows at their pews. I took them to the third floor room I shared with Tracy, a Social Work major. Gave one to her. Put the other one on my side of the room. Tracy had the alcove; she fell in love with it.

    I don't know. But I think the nuptial bliss of the happy couple blessed us, their bow-keepers, too.

    For that very summer a young librarian was employed and by the next summer, we had what he referred to as "a relationship." (I know. What do I call it then.) And Tracy began dating someone.

    Or maybe it was Our Lady Chapel.

    It was on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Prelude in C Major (Ave Maria)
    3:03 published: Dec 01, 2007 by Jeremiah Jones, Lisztonian
    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Photo courtesy of College of Our Lady of the Elms
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