The good Father also enjoyed lifting a glass or two at Kunkel's. I'd say that this practice brought him much closer to most of his tippling parishioners! On many a Saturday night, you would find this man-in-black bellied up at the corner of the mahogany in Kunkel's Tavern, next to Cookie and one or two other Theobalds. Suffice to say that during his brief visits, the conversations became more subdued and sanctimonious.
Father was no tightwad either, as he occasionally sprung for a bottle of the "hard stuff" and bought a round or two of beer for the house. (It also made it a little easier to sweeten the collection plate on Sunday, I'm sure!) After a whiskey or two and several beers, before leaving he would admonish all of the Catholic men in the bar that he would expect them the next morning at Mass. On these occasions he always got a good turnout, and would be most understanding when one or two would fall asleep during his sermon.
As an alter boy, I also was able to witness up close Father's appreciation for a good glass of wine. When I served the wine and water from the cruets for the Eucharist portion of the Mass, he would signal the Server to stop pouring by lifting the Chalice for just a little wine and a larger portion of water. This of course was blessed for the ceremony, and consumed as part of his "Communion".
Following Communion for the congregation, the Ritual called for cleansing the Chalice with more wine and water. Father would make sure that I comletely emptied the wine cruet, and he took just a little water. After all, Mass was almost over anyway! As he drained the Chalice, I could barely hear a little lip-smack and a soft ahhhh! I always wondered if my mum, sitting in her usual place along the front pew, could hear it too.
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