Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sign of the Cross, or Touch the Saint?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 4:00 PM

church.jpegWhen I drive home from the office, I often detour past the Santa Cruz Church on South Sixth Avenue. There's a lot of family history here, but physically driving by this building always brings back lots of odd memories. Like the fact that my cousin Jackie's house was right across the street (now demolished), and my other cousins and I would go over to her house and play this old 1970s board game where you open this door, and on the other side is the man you'll marry: hunk or dog.

Really great for young women growing up during those days. Phyllis Schlafly probably bought tons of these for gifts back then.

But what I also think about as I drive by Santa Cruz are all the different things my family members would do while driving by Catholic churches. My mother would--and still does--a sign of the cross every Catholic church drive-by. My grandmother, who picked me up from kindergarten down the street from Santa Cruz, would make a little fist and beat her heart area gently, and then touch a little statue of the Virgin stuck on the dash of her Dodge Dart--all while driving past Santa Cruz going east on 22nd Street. A friend of mine touches the car ceiling then makes a sign of the cross. Seems everyone has a ritual, and I don't really understand where it started, but I realize I've been cataloging who does what and how.

I'm curious if anyone else has a few rituals out there. (No, Red Star, anything you share can't have anything about Mrs. Red Star and the car you owned when you moved here in the 1980s ... )

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