Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Lost City, a Continuation - Chapter 7

Index of Chapters

Chapter 7

Father Val had long been more than the priest at the church the Fellove family attended. He was also the Fellove family’s advisor and confessor. He had celebrated little Luis Fellove’s Communion Mass and he had worked closely with Susan Fellove to create the parish’s first choir. Susan felt that she could call in a favor, but she knew Father Val would help even if he there hadn’t been a personal friendship.

When Susan met Fico he wasn’t a particularly religious man, though he certainly believed in God. Susan on the other hand had been brought up by her Irish Catholic parents to be devout. She encouraged Fico to attend mass regularly, a habit that continued after the children were born. And Fico had found that attending mass was actually therapeutic for him. Each week he’d pray for the strength and wisdom to get him through the next week, and each week God would answer his prayers. Church life grounded the Fellove family.

Susan called Father Val’s office at the Archdiocese. He was not available but she left a message with the receptionist. When he returned the call she asked if she could come over. She had an urgent matter she wanted to discuss but it was something that she’d prefer to talk about in person. He told her that he had a half-hour free at 2:00. With the appointment made, she thanked him and hung up the phone.

Father Val was a big man. One might guess that he had played football, and they’d be right. Before he entered the seminary, he had lettered in high school and won a scholarship to a small division 1AA school in Pennsylvania. But from a young age Juan Valentín had a deep faith in God. After graduating from college with an accounting degree, he felt empty. Then he received his call to the priesthood. One day he was praying at the Ermita de la Caridad, a shrine on Miami’s Biscayne Bay when he literally had an Epiphany.

Ermita de la Caridad Shrine
It was as if everything was suddenly clear, his job would be to serve God and his fellow man.

“If you’re here to complain about my replacement, there’s nothing I can do.” Father Val said with a smile.

“No, Father George is doing a bang-up job.” Susan replied.

“Then how can help you?” asked Father Val.

“Father, I’m trying to locate a Cuban refugee. I figured that if she had come to the church for help that there might be some record of her. She’s Fico’s sister-in-law, or rather his brother’s widow.”

Father Val said that the church had a program to place refugees in temporary boarding houses. Some were in Miami but many were spread out throughout the country. If the applicant didn’t have any friends or relatives in Miami they were usually sent elsewhere, but there were exceptions. Susan gave Father Val Aurora’s name and he left for several minutes to find out if there were any records.

When he returned, Father Val had a big smile on his face. He gave Susan a piece of monogrammed stationery with a neatly printed address on it.

“Oh thank you Father,” Susan said.

“No need to thank me my child. Now go and sin no more,” he grinned.


ziva said...

Excellent chapter Conductor. You do realize you're torturing us with this one chapter a day ration.

Alfredo said...


I enjoy reading your chapters! Who knows maybe Andy garcia will pick this up and this would eventually lead to other movies or chapters!