12 June 2024

Tony, Tony Come Around. Something's Lost and Must be Found


Today is the Feast of St Anthony of Padua, Patron of lost objects. Here's my St Anthony story in honour of his Feast.

Years ago, I was a storekeeper at the gymnasium at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas. One of my duties was to unlock the gym and Allen Field House in the morning when I was on the early shift so I had all the keys to both buildings. One cold, snowy winter morning, when I wasn't on the early shift, the C&SH needed the car to drive to work, so I helped her get the kids ready for day-care and rode with her while we dropped them off. Then I walked from the day-care to the gym. I was wearing an old army great coat with my keys on a belt loop. When I got to the gym, I took my coat off and instinctively reached for my keys. They were gone!

I panicked and called the building supervisor and told him I was taking off to look for them. I carefully retraced my path all the way to where I had started and then back, looking at the ground the whole way. No luck! I got back to the gym and called the university locksmith to tell him that he would need to change all the locks on the buildings. The locksmith, a fellow Catholic, reminded me of St Anthony, so I asked him for his intercession and promised a Mass in his honour if he would help me.

During the lunch hour, as people were coming in to work out or play sports, someone asked me how I was doing. I replied, 'Not so good' and told him what had happened. He told me to check in his department office across the street because one of their grad students had found some keys that morning. I ran across the street to find that my keys had been found in the slush in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in town with no damage and no evidence that they had even been run over.

Another one for the Miracle Worker of Padua! The humourous end to the story is that I sent the Mass stipend to the missions via 'The Irish Catholic' which publishes thanksgiving prayers. I signed my letter in full form as Jovan Weismiller, T.O.Carm. They publish only initials and when it was printed it came out as 'JWT O'Carm'! 

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