18 June 2008

Making Grandpa proud

To hear my dad tell it, my grandfather was German. Despite never having set foot in Germany, Grandpa was German through and through. German, despite his mother being a strange blend of Scottish and Irish. His father was from Germany and German was spoke in the home. I guess that's what matters, at least if my father was telling the story.

As my father would wax sentimental about his German heritage, my mother would quietly remind me that there was a lot of Irish in the mix. Dad always pretended not to hear her.

I never met my Grandpa. He died before my parents married. I have heard stories about him, about his great sense of humor, his imposing physical presence, his incredible dignity, his love of my grandmother and his love of Our Lady and football. He was a fine Aryan example: tall, trim and blond. A simple, yet refined, man with a simple faith.

The story I love about him is when my much older cousin was visiting my grandparents. Grandpa was sitting and saying the rosary. He also had on a football game. According to my cousin, the scene went something like this. Grandpa was saying the Hail Mary when his team got the ball. "Hail Mary...RUN, D*#$%, RUN!!!...full of grace, the Lord is with Thee."

That's my grandpa, the multi-tasker.

Grandpa would be tickled to know that Monsignor Ganswein is now a close personal friend of mine. Yes, that Monsignor, the Pope's secretary. Pride of Catholic Germany. Canon lawyer. Airplane flyer. What a trifecta. I sent him a friend request on Facebook and he accepted. Now, I, along with several hundred others, are among his inner-sanctum. And, here I was critical of Facebook.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the Pope. I didn't send a nice note with my request to the Pope (what was I thinking!??). That must be some sort of Facebook faux pas. Maybe I can get the Monsignor to put in a good word for me, my being German and all.

*Update: Spoke too soon. A few hours after posting, I was accepted as a friend of the Pope :)


Anonymous said...

The Hail Mary...D#$%,...full of grace, oohh, I have to admit sounds a bit like me while I'm driving, I always realize what I've said and then, "Sorry Mary, sorry Jesus."

Carley said...

Can't you just picture them on their laptops going through the friend requests? Too funny!

Vincenzo said...


swissmiss said...

Told hubby last night that the Pope accepted me as a friend, but I just couldn't see the Pope sitting up in the dark, in his apartment, late at night, with a laptop, blowing through Facebook! Who knows if this is the real Facebook page of the Pope, but it is amusing!

When the Monsignor accepted me, I called my husband at work and he said, "You're going to be insufferable this evening, aren't you?" I told him it didn't matter, he wasn't going to burst my bubble, the Monsignor and I were BFFs!!

Vincenzo said...


swissmiss said...

Thanks, V! Very funny and a keeper.

Christine said...

Several days ago I was looking up Mass times for churches in Cambria County when I came across your blogsite. I loved reading your post about Father Demetrius Gallitzin and your Maryland/Pennsylvania roots! Catholic history in Maryland is lengthy, so good luck in researching your family's ties to the state. You might want to contact Historic Saint Mary's City to see if they can help. Quite a bit of archaeological research has been taking place there, and the site of Maryland's first settlement (1634) is a treasure trove of information.

I'm bookmarking your site!! Thanks for a good read.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, the football rosary story made me laugh loud enough that my kids think I am crazy.... well, ok they already did think I was crazy... now they are convinced.

Thanks for making my day a little happier.

swissmiss said...

Some day I hope to make it to PA and MD to do some research. I have some info from a distant relative who hired a PA researcher. Very interesting. The Scottish and Irish blend I mentioned in my post are the relatives from Cambria and Huntingdon Counties (Logans and Lairds), who married into my German branch from Washington County, PA.

I always wished I could've met the man -- my grandfather. He sounds like a eclectic mix!

sexy said...
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