St. Lawrence is patron saint of the city of Rome. Of the many legends connected with him the favorite is the one where the pagan emperor had him roasting on a fire, and he said, “Turn me over. I am done on this side.” Michelangelo has him holding the grill in his painting of the Last Judgment.
Sisters in their convents observe each other’s feast days, but the rest of us have abandoned that fine practice. However, on the feast of St. Lawrence I always give thought to the fine Larrys I’ve known. For one there was Larry Burns, Kate’s dear husband, a smart lawyer who raised a fine family here.
Another was Larry Schierhoff. We were our parish’s seminarians, and we worked summers together. Newly ordained, Larry was assigned to a pastor who was unreasonable with him, and Larry surprised us all by running away with the parish secretary. They adopted a parish school where they raised their kids, with Betty volunteering all its secretary work, and Larry doing its maintenance. For keeping that school going they got a papal award. Not many run-away priests have had that to brag about.
In Sister Laurentia I have a wonderful, wonderful friend. We had a great talk on the phone yesterday. Larry has put in fifty years teaching grade school, never leaving her classroom before thoroughly preparing the next day’s lessons. Her math students are recognized nationally.
Like other kids, I once asked Sister in school how come all the saints lived long ago. She should have told me I was wrong about that.