I thought it was time to talk about some of the good priests that have been doing God’s work. One I would like to talk about is a priest in the parish I was associated with in the late 1940s. His name was Father Charles Borgognoni, better known as Father Charles.
Also, at this time, I am going to insert myself into this blog.
During the ‘40s, I was like any young person at the time. Yes, I believed in God, did my Sunday duty by going to Mass, and once in a great while, going to confession. You get the picture.
Well, it seems that the good Father Charles was putting on a church play and my friends and I decided to go see it. After the show, I said to myself, “This is something I would like to get involved in.” The next production was coming up in a few months, so I decided to sign up. But there was one catch. You had to join the Discussion Club.
This was a club that Father Charles monitored, and obviously, included in the meetings were lessons in the faith. I said, “What the heck, if it gets me on stage, I’m okay with it.” Members of the club, in most cases, were members of past casts or interested in future productions. Over the years, not only did I enjoy the parts that I played, but I made many new friends. It also solidified my relationship with my future wife, Marie.
Something else happened not only to me, but to the other members of the cast. Unbeknownst to us, our faith was being strengthened.
I recall during many of the rehearsals, Father Charles would be reading his breviary, (the daily prayers a priest has to do) with one hand, and with the other hand, he would be directing the music. To this day, this image is very vivid in my being.
There’s another image that still gives me goose bumps.
Picture the following: You have practiced at least four months, and it is now opening night. You are at one of the major movie houses in Syracuse. There is a crowd of at least 2,500 to 3,000 in the audience. The overture is playing, and Father gathers us backstage: all the players, all those who work backstage, makeup artists, stagehands etc. Most of these people are members of Our Lady of Pompeii Parish. Father then calls for a moment of silence. You could hear a pin drop. Everyone bows their head, and he prays for the success of the production. I sincerely believe in that exact moment, the Holy Spirit was with us. To see people from teens to their sixties, all in concert with Father in prayer, was magical. His priesthood touched us all and made better believers of all of us…the priest, the music man, the evangelist.
Fast forward to now. Yes, the church today is going through some critical times. But keep your eyes on the ball. Dismiss the foul balls — we have a plethora of good priests like Father Charles who are doing God’s work daily.
It may not be in music, but is sure all heck is in evangelism!
Keep the faith.