Adam - Chapter Two

Kingwell By Kingwell, 16th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Fictional Narrative

Adam receives confirmation and is disappointed that he feels no different. He is impressed with the new teacher.

A New School Year Begins

Despite his youth and the formidable task before him, the new teacher appeared genuinely interested in doing the best job possible. Although four students, those in grades nine, ten and eleven who would be traveling to Petersview to write the C.H.E. (Council of Higher Education) exams the following June, would require extra help he had no intention of neglecting his other students. Consequently, a few weeks into the school year he made them an offer. He was willing to give three extra hours every week at a time that would be best for all four, but they must show a willingness to work hard and a sincere interest in their studies. All four accepted the proposition but left the time to the teacher’s discretion. The school year appeared to be off to a good start and Adam, who missed little, liked the new teacher’s attitude and was determined to lose no opportunity to learn.

Adam Gets A Bible

As November approached more and more emphasis was put on the bishop’s visit. The priest, Father Ryan, now became involved in making sure the confirmation candidates were fully prepared and understood the gravity of this new undertaking. Adam listened carefully and was quite willing to admit that there was much that was good in the teachings but could not get his mind around the difference in what was taught and what he saw practiced around him. Although not particularly religious, he felt that he would like to read the Bible for himself, something not common among Catholics of the day. When he asked the priest about getting him a Bible, his request was greeted with some interest and perhaps thinking the boy had an interest in the priesthood, immediately produced a copy for which he refused any payment. From the very beginning Adam was intrigued with the story line but soon realized that he had more questions than answers and decided to approach the teacher. Mr. Antle readily admitted to knowing very little about the Bible and suggested that he take his questions to the priest. With the bishop visiting the parish the following week, Adam realized that the priest would have little time to discuss any questions he might have, so decided to keep reading and wait for a more opportune time.

The Bishop Arrives

There was much excitement in the community the day the bishop arrived and everyone was dressed in their Sunday best. Anyone who wasn’t confined to their bed was at church to greet the bishop whom everyone, including the priest, addressed as “Your Grace”. Adam, along with the other sixteen boys and eleven girls who were to be presented to the bishop for confirmation, sat in the front of the church waiting for the service to begin. There wasn’t an empty seat in the building. The four altar boys, all in their teens and dressed in appropriate garb, scurried about the church lighting candles and making sure that everything was in place, while their parents beamed from the pews. As an altar boy bearing the cross enters the sanctuary the people immediately stand. He is followed by two more carrying candles and another carrying the censer containing the incense. Next comes the teacher, Mr. Antle, who carries the open Bible followed by Father Ryan bearing the crosier (bishop’s staff) and finally his grace Bishop Anthony Fitzpatrick himself

Disappointment for Adam

At last the time for the actual confirmation arrives and the boys are called first. They approach, than kneel before the bishop in twos. When Adam’s name is called, he and Joseph Crawley come forward and kneel together. A hand placed on either head the bishop intones the words for confirmation used in the church since the days of the early church fathers. In a moment it is over and Adam and Joseph return to their seats as two others approach. An hour later, the whole thing is over and the bishop and priest stand in the doorway to shake the hand of each parishioner as they leave the church. Returning home, Adam feels nothing if not let down. In his homily, the bishop spoke nothing of the Bible but merely talked of the importance of confession, attending Mass, and paying into the Lord’s Treasury. He felt no different and wondered if he’d received the Holy Spirit at all. When he mentioned it to Fred Walsh the next day, he was greeted with a strange look and it suddenly struck him that he was probably the only participant who had expected to feel different! He was beginning to realize now that no one talked about such things. You went to Confession and Mass and left all else in the hands of the church.

Adam is Admonished.

Adam’s keen interest in learning was not lost on the teacher although he had more than fifty other students. He had a small personal library consisting of the writings of Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jonathan Swift and Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Kidnapped. These he allowed Adam to borrow and later they sometimes chatted over the exploits of Sherlock Holmes or the young Jim Hawkins. Such books allowed Adam’s spirit to soar to hitherto unknown heights and here he found himself on common ground with the teacher, a place shared by none of the other students. Adam continued to read the Bible and as he did, more and more questions arose until at last he felt that, lacking another mentor, he must approach the priest. Father Ryan at first seemed pleased that such a young member of his flock desired an audience, but as Adam’s questions became more difficult and his doubts more obvious the priest’s demeanor quickly changed. Raising a hand for silence, the priest vocalized what he considered, one of the most adamant tenets of The Holy Roman Catholic Church. The church alone, he admonished his young pupil, holds the authority to interpret Holy Scripture and the average layman should not concern himself with such matters. He advised Adam to pray and ask forgiveness for entertaining such doubts. Father Ryan arose from his chair - the meeting was over.

Adam's Thoughts

The abrupt ending to their conversation and the priest’s clear displeasure at his questioning surprised Adam. He also detected something akin to the feeling that Father Ryan sensed that his authority in the parish was somehow being challenged. More confused than ever now, he decided to put the Bible aside until such time as he felt ready to continue. Why read it at all he wondered if one was not allowed to have an opinion. Having been to confession four times now, he was beginning to understand something of the priest’s control over the people. Despite the seal of the confessional most people felt uncomfortable in the presence of someone who knew their innermost secrets. Before his confirmation, he had felt that it was just a matter of telling the priest about the things he felt he’s done wrong such as having taken the Lord‘s name in vain, or the little white lie he’d told his parents. Now he knew that Father Ryan might question him about anything including whether he’d had any impure thoughts about girls, which at this stage in his young life left him blushing profusely.
TO BE CONTINUED
See Chapter Three
Read from the beginning - See Chapter One

Tags

Adam, Adults, Bible, Bishop, Candles, Censer, Confession, Confirmation, Council Of Higher Education, Crosier, Holy Spirit, Kingwell, Mass, Newfoundland, Outports, Roman Catholic Church, School Life, Teaching Methods, Teaching Objectives

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author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Carol
16th Feb 2015 (#)

It's great reading about Adam

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you Carol. I plan on publishing a chapter at least every second day. Blessings.

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author avatar Utah Jay
16th Feb 2015 (#)

Yes enjoying this.

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author avatar Kingwell
17th Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you Utah. Blessings.

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author avatar M G Singh
17th Feb 2015 (#)

Nice post

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author avatar Kingwell
17th Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you Madan, I hope that you continue to follow the series. Blessings.

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author avatar Retired
18th Feb 2015 (#)

Excellent work! Very well written!

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author avatar Kingwell
18th Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you. I hope you will follow the series. Blessings.

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author avatar puncakceria
19th Feb 2015 (#)

interesting article...

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you for reading this and I will continue to follow your work. Blessings.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Feb 2015 (#)

You are telling the story in such way to touch a chord on all who read it, thanks Kingwell. I know adults get irritated more by the thought that the questions raised by children will expose their ignorance of the subject - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Feb 2015 (#)

So pleased that you are reading this Siva. I always look forward to your comments. We may life in very different cultures but you have the ability to see what is happening. Blessings.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
19th Feb 2015 (#)

most interesting...and i am fascinated what comes next...

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Feb 2015 (#)

Thanks Carolina. I hope to publish a chapter every second day or so. Blessings.

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author avatar viewgreen
21st Feb 2015 (#)

Excellent article and thank you for sharing this sir.

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author avatar Kingwell
21st Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you viewgreen. Blessings.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
24th Feb 2015 (#)

Kingwell, as I read this story my heart goes out to Adam. To have questions and not receive answers from the people that should have the answers is so disheartening. Great writing and Blessings to you!

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author avatar Kingwell
24th Feb 2015 (#)

Thank you Nancy. Blessings.

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