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By Kevin Wells, Catholic Exchange, November 15, 2019
On the morning of the Feast Day of St. Martin of Tours, I passed through wide revolving doors and into opulence; a high-rise waterfront hotel in an elegant part of shot-and-beer Baltimore. The location was the meeting point for coffee with a friend; I’m of the Motel 6 set, an heirloom of frugality passed down from my father.
I immediately saw a priest talking to a friend in the chic lobby; then a few other priests came into view. Then there was a bishop.
Ah. it’s that time of the year when bishops gather.
Legend has it that this Martin of Tours, when he was a young Roman soldier, encountered a thinly-layered beggar on a bitterly cold morning. He drew his sword, cut his military cloak in two and gave half to the beggar. That night, as Martin dreamed, he saw Jesus dressed in the portion of the cloak in which he’d covered the beggar. “Martin, who is still but a catechumen,” Jesus said within the mist of the dream. “has covered me with his robe.”
When I learned that Martin was a catechumen on the day of his magnanimous cloak-halving, sludgy tidewaters of irony and awareness covered me. Often overlooked within this Church wintertime in the West is the vanishing catechumen – the unbaptized soul preparing for entrance into the faith. One must wonder what goes on in his mind today. ….