I graduated from St. Eugene’s in 1966, when the liturgical changes after the close of the council promulgated in Sacrosanctum Concilium to the best of my memory had not yet been thoroughly implemented. I journeyed off to Detroit Cathedral High School downtown, where my experience of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist began to fade, as I no longer was required (sadly, in retrospect) to attend daily Mass, and cannot to save my life remember one thing taught to me in high school religion class by my teacher, who was also the Business Ed. and Typing teacher and track coach. A rumination of the yearbooks for these years reveals photo captions such as “DC Sodality Men Reach Out,” and “Fr. Trainor Celebrates Mass Facing the Seniors as he Closes the Senior Retreat.” To be sure, in my adolescent years I hadn’t the foggiest idea of what was happening in the Church in the United States after the Council, and, after seeing a pretty, red-headed Sophomore on the bus on her way to Immaculata High one day (in the end I proved too shy to sit next to her on the DSR bus...), I confess I really never paid it much attention.
In the ensuing years I drifted further and further away from the Church, the Body of Christ, in true “prodigal son” fashion, often arguing with my mother over matters of faith. In college, I was approached by evangelicals asking, “Are you saved, brother?,” something they did not believe of me as long as I was Catholic. The norm would have been for this now-lukewarm Catholic to have been lured away from the Church, but baptismal grace proved me an exception. Though I was not all that holy, I wasn’t about to become a Pentecostal! How Our Lord led me home is outside the scope of this endeavor; suffice it to say that there are rough parallels with St. Augustine.