*Almost* Excommunicated

by | Jul 26, 2008 | Nebraska Road Trip, Personal Reflections | 24 comments

As you have all probably noticed, I am not a very good writer. In fact, before my application to Christendom, I think that the last paper or essay that I had written was way back in 5th grade. It just wasn’t something my mom made me do, and I was fine with that… It gave me more time to read! In fact, the first course I was required to take in college was actually Grammar 101. Isn’t that awful?! (One of the benefits of home educating though, is that I can learn along side my children! So hopefully my writing will improve with time.)

However, I do love taking pictures, and since “a picture is worth a thousand words,” I am usually able to share stories with the help of pictures here on my blog.

That said, I am going to try and continue the story of our trip to Nebraska. I hadn’t forgotten, it has just been super busy lately. I left off with the First Mass and First Holy Communion.

That Mass was so incredible that I didn’t want to share this story in that post. I wanted you to see all the beauty first, and now, I will tell you about the crazy part of that day… without photos… I didn’t have a chance to take any… Sorry!

As I mentioned briefly, in a prior post, Snuggles had not been feeling well since the day of the Ordination. He was no longer throwing up, but he was extremely cranky.

After we arrived at Carmel, and Captain made his First Confession, we went into the chapel (which was already almost full, minus the row in the front reserved for us) and sat down. Snuggles started crying immediately. I tried snuggling him, and then nursing him, but nothing could calm him down. I took him outside.

At this point, I was trying to accept the fact that it was very likely that I was going to miss the First Mass and our oldest son’s First Communion. I stood there fighting back the tears, wondering “WHY now?” as I bounced my baby. You see my children are *usually* very well behaved during Mass.

Then an angel came my way. A sweet woman, a friend of my brother-in-law’s, walked up to me, and asked if I would let her take care of my baby so I could attend the Mass. I wanted to let her, but I also felt awful that she would be so distracted during the Mass. She insisted, saying she had to stay in the courtyard anyway since the chapel was full, took Snuggles (who then calmed down for her), and I went back into the chapel.

The Mass WAS beautiful, and everything WAS going perfectly… until…

Until, all of a sudden, shortly after the Consecration, my daughter peed all over the floor.

We were given no warning. It just happened. There was a HUGE yellow puddle of pee all over the white tile, and my skirt was soaked as well. To make matters worse, we were in the very front row, and the puddle was right in front of the communion rail, which would be needed soon for communion.

The weird thing is, Chiquita has been potty trained since last November, and she never has accidents!

Anyhow, since I didn’t have the baby, I didn’t have ANYTHING to dry the floor. No blanket. No diaper bag. NOTHING!

In a panic, and without thinking, hubby and I grabbed our daughter and jetted out the nearest door, since the aisles of the overflowing chapel, were full of people kneeling.

The plan was to get to the courtyard, grab one of the baby’s blankets and get back into the church and clean it up AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, since Captain would be making his First Communion in just a few minutes.

The door slammed shut behind us (oops!), and we were not quite prepared for what happened next. My hubby later described it as feeling like we had climbed into the wardrobe and found ourselves in Narnia — basically, we found ourselves somewhere we were NOT expecting to be.

A number of “OH NO’s” hit all at once:

“Oh NO! There is a dog!” (As Chiquita started screaming!)

“Oh NO! How are we going to get out of here?” (We were in a small yard with a solid, super tall fence, with a locked gate.)

“Oh NO! Our son will be receiving his First Communion ANY minute!” (We have to get out of here, and back into the chapel!)

“Oh NO! Did we just enter the cloister?” (Outsiders are not allowed to enter a Cloistered Convent without the permission of a bishop, under the penalty of excommunication.)


The door we had come out had locked behind us, so my hubby tried to find a way to get though or over the fence. In the meantime, I found an open door, which apparently led to a garage. By this point I figured out that we must be in Monsignor’s quarters. Whew!!! We were not excommunicated! Nevertheless, we HAD to get back inside the chapel to be present for Captain’s First Holy Communion, and to clean up that floor!

We went through the garage to the other door, and thankfully it was unlocked as well! We were now inside Monsignor’s kitchen! Have you ever broken into the home of a Monsignor before? It was the first time for us… and hopefully the last time! Anyhow, we hurried to the front door and out into the courtyard.

We took a **deep breath** as all of the people in the courtyard turned to stare at us… I’m sure they were wondering *just what* we were doing in there during Father’s First Mass with Monsignor on the altar as well!

Hubby immediately ran to grab a blanket, and another sweet new friend I made on the trip ran over to take Chiquita from me (as I was removing her soaked shoes and tights) saying, “HURRY! GO!!! I’ll take care of her!”

So, we took another deep breath as we tried to recollect ourselves and make our way back into the chapel, and into our seats just as the Master of Ceremonies signaled Captain to approach the communion rail. Aahh! We made it!

All’s well that ends well, right? And it sure ended well… It was absolutely heavenly and totally picture perfect!


  1. Elizabeth Foss

    Oh my goodness! You are a wonderful writer and I’m so glad you journaled this memory. I felt like I was right there with you. Now, tell me, how long was it before you looked at your husband and neither of you could keep from laughing at the absurdity of it all? It reads like an I Love Lucy episode:-)

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Oh! Thank you Elizabeth!!! Coming from one of my favorite authors, that made my day! (Thank goodness for spell check. Now if I my computer just had grammar check, that would be wonderful!)

    As far as how long it took… We glanced at each other as we were running through Monsignor’s home, and couldn’t help laughing. It was so unbelievable, and SO embarrassing!

  3. Amy

    Jessica!! You did a fabulous job writing it! You know, it is like I always used to say when I tried once upon a time to be a writer, I am a writer, not a speller. A good speller does not a wirter make. I LOVE my spell check!
    I just can’t imagine it. You and your husband are going to laugh and laugh about this for years to come. You will never forget this First Communion!

    Oh and the drive went well. I only cried a little… well, a little for me. I started freaking out thinking about how someday she is going to leave the nest and not just for a few days!

  4. Shelly

    Wow, what an experience. I am happy for you that it all ended well and you can laugh about it now. God Bless you, Shelly

  5. Margaret

    Oh my goodness! So glad everything worked out ok! Even though you had to work for it…☺

  6. Anonymous

    Jessica, not only are you a terrific writer, this is a very, very funny episode! (Though I’m sure it didn’t seem so at the time! Like a bad dream, I bet!)

    I could feel the anxiety about possibly missing your son’s First Communion! But I bet the Bishop would’ve been lenient about the excommunication under the circumstances. Maybe just a slap on the wrist and the promise never to return to that Church again? 🙂

    We had a crazy experience on the day of my daughter’s First Communion, too, that really set my head spinning and anxiety wheels rolling. In the end, Jesus still came, and all was well! (And I was given a very dear and much-needed reminder that it wasn’t about “me” after all!!!)

  7. Jamie Jo

    Oh, my gosh!!! Amazing, you’d never think that through the pictures. You are a clever writer, and a great one at that!!! I really think you could write a couple different books,I’d be the first to buy!

    Great story, great how we never really know what people are going through. Thanks for the great story. What a great story for your kids when they grow up, poor Chiquita, she will be teased as an adult by her siblings!! 🙂

  8. Angie

    Jessica, this is so funny! Strange how moments of stress bring about “Narnia” moments! Congratulations to your son and I’m so glad you didn’t miss the moment!

  9. Sue B.

    This is so funny! Can you map the laundromats that you must have visited during your road trip? You are a terrific writer!

  10. Anonymous

    This story was worth the wait. I was completely going through all my shock expressions in front of my computer as this tale unfolded. My oldest son (#3 of 5) made his First Communion in May. I’ve worried every time about missing the Mass with a crying or sick baby. Especially this year, I had to engage in a public battle for “permission” to have my younger children with us for the First Communion Mass. I left that meeting after insisting that my entire family would be with me thinking that I had just guaranteed myself a sick kid. You made realize I need to be grateful that my little First Communion struggle happened in advance and we made it through with no incidents, accidents, or illnesses.
    P.S. I didn’t comment before, but the First Communion and Blessing pictures were really beautiful to see.

  11. Jessica Gordon

    Ah!! Thank you everyone!!! You are all so sweet. You have no idea how badly I wanted to log onto the computer back in Nebraska to post this story! I’ve had a few chances to tell it though, since we’ve been back, and that made it a bit easier to write about. It really was both CRAZY and hilarious!

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Sue ~ I did do quite a bit of laundry during this trip… I got to know the girl that worked at the laundry mat (right down the street from our hotel) pretty well! 😉

  13. Anonymous

    LOL!!! GREAT!! A.B.

  14. Christie@tisbutaseason

    Too funny! I agree with Elizabeth…it does read like an episode of Lucy! 🙂

    What a blessing to have those angels with you in the courtyard. The Lord made a way.

  15. Jessica Gordon

    Oh I KNOW!!! They really were such a blessing! I don’t know what I would have done, if they hadn’t come to my rescue!

  16. Aubrey

    Whoa! I sat here with my mouth and eyes open wide while reading this entry. Start with a sick baby and then have an accident from the potty trained child. This is something that we only have bad dreams about! Did you tell Msgr. T. this story later? Now you’ll all be able to laugh at it, since all is well. I’m still processing your entry and still in a little bit of disbelief! God must surely have a sense of humor!

  17. Jessica Gordon

    Aubrey, I still can’t believe it happened either, but then again I can… I always tend to have crazy things happen… A friend of mine says I should right a book, but then, I have selective memory (I think) and can never remember after awhile. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to blog this, so that I would remember all the details! 🙂

    I am pretty sure either my hubby or one of my brother-in-laws told Monsignor T. the next day (Sunday). There was another First Mass starting immediately after my brother-in-laws, so we didn’t have a chance to tell Monsignor on Saturday.

    Another funny thing, is that when we went back to the Carmel on Sunday, to visit with the nuns, there was a new rod iron gate around the entrance to Monsignor’s home. I pointed it out to one of my hubby’s brothers, and he said he had never seen it before, and that they must have put it up to keep us out of Monsignor’s home. I am sure they will be giving us a hard time for this for years to come!

    And yes, God truly must have a sense of humor!

  18. Sara

    That’s hysterical, Jessica! I’m so glad everything worked out so nicely and God had his angels planted to smooth the way. You did a great job telling it for someone who is not a writer!

  19. Aubrey

    …and you didn’t poke around to see if Msgr. had any paper towels? 😉

  20. Jessica Gordon

    We were in such a hurry to GET OUT OF HIS HOUSE that I never even THOUGHT of that!!! That would have been a good idea. Instead we used the baby’s blanket and needed to make ANOTHER trip to the laundry mat! 🙂

  21. Christine

    Oh that is a great story. Thanks for sharing. We all have those moments. I think you handled it perfectly….and you are a great writer so don’t worry about that!

  22. Shelly

    That has *got* to take the cake, Jessica! That is truly a great story for years to come! every First Holy Communion – this story will be told and re-told :o)

  23. Jen

    Oh my goodness, what a story!!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  24. fadfd

    I'm dying here! I hadn't read this post until now and I'm glad for the wait.That was an exciting tale for sure.


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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