Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon on May 2, 1936 · Page 10
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May 2, 1936

Albany Democrat-Herald from Albany, Oregon · Page 10

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Albany, Oregon
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 2, 1936
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Page 10
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Power of Prayer Saves Man Listed Among Modern Miracles Is The Power Of Faith Demonstrated by Mrs. Gemette Who Pledged Herself to a Life of Service If Her Husband Should Be Saved Humble Home of Carmella Gemette in San Jose, Calif., Where "Altar-Room" Is Scene of Prayers and Feasting on March 19, Every Year. Accepting Favors Graciously Is Art Known To Few Men, Says Reno Pastor By BREWSTER ADAMS For 25 Years Reno'a Baptist Preacher GIVING cheerfully la a virtue; but to receive graciously la a fine art. No question but that we are adept at "taking things." They don't even have to be given Juat not nailed down. It seems to be an old Yankee custom. Overseas. 1 heard an Englishman tell of the American who came to Saint Peter at the pearly gate, aeeking admittance. Peter bade him wait until he could examine the recordB. When the sainted outer guardian returned, according to the Britisher, the American waa gone and so was the gate. No one can deny that we have developed a national trait of receiving. We can take, but how ? The more we collect, the poorer our manners. Getting does not seem to make us gracious. Butter on the bread falls to find pollte-less from tho panhandler. Would I be adding to the Impossible to suggest a course In our schools on "How to receive In a nice way"? Curmcllu Gcmcttc, Strong in the Faith of Her Childhood, Preparing Shrine in Her Altar-Room for Annual Ceremony of Gratitude. For popular purposes it might be termed, "Don't bite the hand with a handout." If the school took It up, it might help to have aome home-practice. PERHAPS It la our pride more than our poverty which makes us poor receivers. Every day aome lodge, church or friend aska me to deliver aome gift CLIMBING the crooking attlo stairs of hor little homo, gowned In flowing rohea of gloaming white satin, and followed by aoven youngstora In white llnon cloaks, tho atooped figure of Carmolla Gemotto entora her "altar-room" to pray before a carefully prepared ahrlne of foodstuffs shaped In rellgloua aymbola. The time: St. Joaeph'a Day, March 10. The place: Ban Joae, California, In the old house where for 38 yeara her aging figure headed the same alow procession to give thanks and pay penance for the life of her husband, spared to her when ahe waa a girl In Louisiana, In 1808! He had loft at dawn to go hunting, Her memory revlvea the aceno In every detail, At noon a membor of the hunting party ran Into hor home, breathless and stammering: "Carmolla your husband there's been an accident ho'a ahot dying!" The first shock paaaed. She knew but one thing to do to kneel and pray. It waa St. Joaeph'a Day, and ahe knelt to her patron aalnt. "If my husband's life la spared, I vow to observe this day with fitting ceremony every year of my life." It aeomed a miracle to her frlenda when her husband rocovered, but faith sonio-tlmea work! miracles. Aa the yeara have Increaaed, hor faith has Increased. Now there haa come to her tho assurance that the greatest power In the unlverso Is the power of prayor, and ahe has learned to turn with unwavering conviction to tills sanctuary of the aoul In tlmea of emotional atroaa. With the trials which come Inevitably, ahe haa learned that the things of the spirit aro more Important than the things of the world, and ahe haa com to the certainty of the belief and fashions delicate shapes for the annual event. ' She makes an inspection ui the "altar-room, arranges tho magnificent canopy of satin which she embroidered skillfully as a child In the town of her birth, Santa Margarita Zclicl Plo, Glor-gente, Italy. The altar Itself roaches to the celling and comes almost to the doorway filling tho small room with carved aymbols. At last the coremony la finished. White-clad children follow her down again, and she and Slgnor Gemette go out through the battered gate to the sidewalk. Passing friends and strangers are graciously invited to enter and share the blessed feast. BACK come the Gemcttes, as many children as they can gather, and a few close friends. Tlie yearly feast begins, everyone has food such as eplcurian Sicilians dream about and Car-mella's old eyes grow moist with thankfulness as she looks across the table at her husband. He Is spry and hearty despite his 88 years, a blue-eyed man with a pipe between his teeth, and a felt hat pulled over his cars. He too is happy; life Is good to give him such a wife. There isn't much money, and almost every cent is saved for the shrine of St. Joseph. Even though it may seem expensive to some "The money is nothing!" Carmella says. "It is the heart that counts, not silver." ceremony of adoration and gratitude, these things, ahe declares, are merely symbolic, giving expression to her desire to serve. They are the outward manifestations of the inward aoul, and bring tho joy of beauty and love into the routine of everyday living. She knows, too, that she stands aa a disciple for the "Doubting Thomases" of the world, pointing the way to tho power of prayor, the presence of that Invisible kingdom wherein all good exists. The mad turmoil of the search for gold and prestige she believes a waste of time, since life must be spiritually understood. This year, at 68 years young, she repeated what haa become a family tradition prepared fruits and sweetbreads, candles and nuts, all with religious Interpretation, to place on the table In the darkened attic room. IN THE center stands a gYeat framed print of the Holy Three, Jesus, Mary, and the patron saint. On each side rise crosses of sweetbreads, cakes covered with figs and nuts and candled sugar. Bronze and wooden cruclflxos. rosaries, lighted candles, and other symbols complote her decorations. For a month before the ceremony Slgnora Gemette sturdy Sicilian peasant mother of the old world who knows the Joy of labor bakea ... Brewster Adams Pretty Young Neighbor of the Gimcttcs, Showing One of Cakes Which Cover the Altar. She Assists in Preparing St. Joseph's Day Feast. that life is eternal, and that love conquers all things. While ahe haa made much of the material Columnist for Personal Opinions To Modify Comments Or Suffer More Chills Classmates Duck College Students IVarn Budding Reporter to a needy member. They come with the aame trembling and solemnity aa though they were asking me to break some bad news. "Brother, you take this gift to them. You can do It without their getting mad, or feeling hurt." Just like the Secret Service being asked to open a suspected bomb; you don't know what sort of an explosion will come. When the brothers asked me to take a gift to a little old lady recently, they seemed to think the mission waa similar to informing her that someone waa dead. She was in great need and also she was very proud. (God bless her for that I Pride lost, and there ia little left.) I gave it to her as prettily aa I knew how. But ahe laid it down, explaining with a -tear on her aweet face : "I Just can't take It. I've never taken charity. I think I would rather die first." Wo sat down and talked It over. I told her w all loved her and only wanted her to know It was from the sharing of our friendship. Thia did not seem to convince her; but she arailed when I asked her if she had not often given to others. "Lots of times." she assured me, and then, Nothing ever provoked me aa when they wouldn't take it aa I gave it." SHE smiled again as she realized that she had Judged herself. She took the gift in a lovely way with a farewell, "God bless you." I knew she had given more than she had received, for hers was a blessing and a beautiful thought. Perhaps that Is the art of receiving, wherewith we keep our pride to return something greater than the gift appreciation. The story is true and too good not to finish, oven to my embarrassment. The following evening our little lady came to our home and, when she had seated herself, she lifted her shawl and out hopped a little red hen. It was as friendly as a kitten and unafraid. She explained that : "It s a kind of a pet. 1 want you to have It." Brother! Maybe you won't believe that a preacher ever refused chicken. But how could I take her little pet? I had to take It or hurt her. 8he wanted to givo as It had been given unto her She wanted to walk out with her frail little head held high. She not only returned the gift but the words I had given. Her gift was like the broken bread on the altar. It was for me "to take and eat thereof." And I thought only or a prayer. "Lord, teach me how to receive." The reader will forgive.. and I hope the Recording Angel will forgot, a later deception I went over to see her and asked her to keep it for me. "The neighbors have a garden and we have no pen. Won't you keep It for me'" I tried to be subtle, but I knew she knew. I couldn't take it. She was the saint and I the sinner It is a hnc art this receiving.- .ouis Magrinl, col- J JfST s,' S umnljt for the stu- "" y- v , ' . .. ,j , .. ' ' Y dent paper at the -W f College of Puget i Yw X i IV I Sound, Tacoma, JJ . ; . ( t V A f'rn. Wash., shown as he -. , . mr jVn WM boul ,0 be V- t ' jjf 111 "j-aVy tossed into the icy V' r " J -V3fk waters of Puget ; ;v V V'" Sound by classmates f . I I L ;, (,1 ' f some of n'"caustic 1 f 1 I A v. ' " 77; -fi fcv criticisms of fellow I : I v . ( ' jf hi " students. His smile I - . I -.' -.:.,-::!..; 77ti V: f' ill & 7 was quickly obliter- v V V vi I 0 ' ' V vJw.V ated. If he thought S V 4 j C'Va u w" ioke' ,he ' y 7 v. Yr - , V 'Ay J j "Mt sp'45b con- H , """SS'' Js. vincd him 0,hcr" j COLUMN writing for a collego newspaper haa Ita points, but sometimes these are bad as well aa good. At least that's what Louis Magrlnl, columnist for the student newspaper at the College of Puget Hound, Tacoma, Wash., derided after being tossed Into the Icy waters of Puget Hound one chilly evening by Irate fellow student who objected to aome of hla rather frank criticisms of classmates. The student columnist woro the tempers of hla classmates a bit thin by his caustic comments. When pointed suggestions that he change hla style to some less severe form failed to produce the desired results, students decided to take more drastic action. Magrlnl was hailed by a group of students aa he left a downtown theater late one evening, and waa invited to go for a ride. After he atepped Into the car he was whisked to the waterfront, whore the purpose of the ride waa revealed to him. AT the suggestion of his abductors, he changed from street clothing to pajamas. Then, with four husky students at his arms and legs, he waa unceremoniously tossed Into the bay. He crawled to the float, where he was supplied with a towel to dry his shivering frame. The columnist then waa warned that he would be treated to similar Involuntary hatha each week, unless his writings assumed a more modified form. Even student columnist, he has learned, must pay for occupying the limelight In college newspaper work. There arc draw-barks to the best of jobs, and writing what you think f lass-mates and their activities can quickly result In physical discomfort. Campus leaders like pub-llclty (omrtimea go long way to get It. but criticism, however Justified. Is not always taken in the spirit intended. Hia future columns, Magrlnl hasOcclded. will stress the heroic, noble qualities of his tern-pcramajital classmates. PAGE TWO-B

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