As I was completing my BEd degree at St. Thomas University (STU), my fiance and I agreed that we would accept the first teaching position offered. As it turned out, that offer came from Newfoundland, but there was a problem. In order to be certified in Newfoundland it was necessary to have two English credits. My arts electives were in psychology; consequently, it was necessary for me to go to summer school for six weeks to pick up the necessary credits.
I cancelled my summer work plans with the navy and returned to Fredericton. While I would be enrolled in UNB’s summer school, I stayed in residence at STU. Holy Cross House was quiet, and it was where I resided while completing my BEd.
The summer was further complicated by the fact that I was to be married at the end of July. The wedding date followed the fourth week of summer school. My fiance and I wanted to have some sort of a honeymoon so, with the cooperation of my two summer school profs, I took week five off.
Prior to my wedding, I was approached by one of the proctors in Holy Cross House. He told me that the president of STU had learned of my situation and was offering my bride and me the use of the guest suite during the final week of summer school. This was the space in which visiting dignitaries were accommodated. I was deeply moved by this gesture and knew that it would be much more comfortable for the two of us as opposed to staying in a single person, dorm-room. We graciously accepted the offer.
We returned to Fredericton for the final week of summer school and were given the keys to the suite. We entered and were impressed with the size of the apartment and amenities in place.
A queen size bed was located at the end of the room. The next thing that caught my attention was the rather large photo of the Pope positioned on the wall above the headrest. The pontiff had a slight smile and it looked to me as if he was standing watch over the bed. I looked at my new bride. I looked at the bed. I looked at the Pope. I looked back at the bed. I turned to my wife.
“I think that photo will have to come down for the next five days.”
She didn’t disagree.
Fortunately, it wasn’t secured to the wall so was easy to move. I placed His Holiness in the corner facing inward. I felt a little bad about that.
On Friday, prior to leaving, I returned the photo to its place above the bed.
The pontiff was still smiling.
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