A Time to Speak — A view from the pew

Paul E. Schlich Sr.


My story goes back more than 75 years to when I was a freshman at St. Xavier High School.

At that time, high school students served the 6:30 a.m. Mass at Holy Trinity School. My family had moved to St. Matthews in 1935. As hard as it is to believe now, St. Matthews was in the country at that time, and Holy Trinity was still a country parish.  Shelbyville Road was a two-lane road, the Interurban railway tracks ran nearby, connecting downtown Louisville. Holy Trinity served everyone in the territory to the Jefferson-Shelby county line.

One occasion after I had served the 6:30 a.m. Mass during the week, Father Gallagher said to me, “Come on Weasel (a nickname he gave me that I thankfully outlived); we have to make a sick call.”

We drove east of the parish on the country roads to farms. I can no longer remember their exact names or locations, but most of the time they were on dirt or gravel roads and most had gates to keep the livestock contained. We often pulled up at the gate, and my job was to jump out of the car and open it. Father drove through, and I pulled the gate behind us.

It was always a real adventure for me as a 14-year- old boy. Some of my most vivid memories are how dark and cold it often was. We usually made more than one call, yet we would not talk to one another until we arrived back at Holy Trinity, our calls complete.

Looking back, I might not have realized the significance of those visits at that time. Although I was just the gate-opener, I like to think that I was the youngest and the first in helping deliver the Blessed Sacrament to the sick.

Now, of course, it is mostly done by lay people. It is an honor that I have cherished participating in many times over the last 70 years. I think it is wonderful, and it is one of the many reasons that I cherish being Catholic.

Paul E. Schlich Sr. is a parishioner of St. Margaret Mary Church.

In this column, “A View from the Pew,” writers are invited to share their personal experiences and observations as Catholics.

Some ideas for topics include: Why is my faith important to me? What is most meaningful to me as a Catholic today?  What would I like my parish to better understand about me and/or my family? What are my greatest hopes? How have I come to experience God through the Catholic Church?  What does my relationship with Jesus Christ mean to my faith? How do I live out my faith as a Catholic?

Writers also are invited to share good news about service projects, schools, great prayer or retreat experiences, and ideas and best practices for sharing our faith with others.

Articles should be from 500 to 600 words, and they will be edited for content, grammar and journalistic standards. Articles should be honest, always be civil and constructive and never attack individuals. Submissions must include the name and contact information of the writer; anonymous submissions will not be considered.  

Submission of an article does not guarantee its publication, and the editor will make the final decision about the date of publication.

We would love to hear about your “view from the pew.” Please send articles to Sal Della Bella, sdellabella@archlou.org, or 212 East College Street PO Box 1073 Louisville, Ky., 40201 along with your name, parish, contact information and a digital photo, if possible. (For photos, a headshot is preferred.)

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