A call to St. Anthony

After working in a tiny newsroom for four years of my journalism career, I came to know a bit about Catholics.

I was surrounded by three of them in a four-person newsroom and — as the lone Lutheran — I had an opportunity to ask questions.

“What’s with the smoke and pungent smell coming from those things the priest carries around at a Catholic funeral?”

“Why do you kneel?”

“What is the purpose of the water bowl at the entrance?”

Sometimes the Catholics would laugh at my questions. Sometimes they shrugged because they didn’t know the answer; and sometimes I’d solicit their Catholic connections to help this lost Lutheran.

Well, not that I was ever lost about religion. I was baptized a Lutheran (Missouri Synod), confirmed a Lutheran, transferred to an ELCA Lutheran church in Redwood County, and then returned to a Missouri Synod Lutheran when I moved back to my hometown.

The lost Lutheran, in my case, refers to this Lutheran losing something — and that’s where my knowledge of Catholicism kicks in. They have St. Anthony — the patron saint of lost items.

I learned all about St. Anthony when I worked in the tiny newsroom in Wabasso. St. Anthony was called upon to help my co-workers find anything that was lost — from car keys to teenage kids.

From time to time, I asked them to solicit St. Anthony for me.

I could use those women in my life right about now.

For more than a week, I’ve been digging through every nook and cranny in my house looking for a particular book of hardanger (Norwegian embroidery) patterns. I started a doily probably five years ago and, now that I’m finally over my bout with tennis elbow, I intended to finish some of my UFO’s (unfinished objects). The trouble is, I can’t stitch any more on the doily until I find my instructions.

While you could say the lost item is a direct result of my age (I did turn 40 in January, after all), my excuse is the same as it often is when I lose something. Simply put, I found the pattern book in my home office months ago. I knew that it wasn’t the proper place to store such an item, and promptly put it in a safe place to be found when I needed it.

I just can’t remember where that safe place is!

Thus, I’ve emptied out all three of my bookcases and searched through both of my needlework storage towers, two binders filled with hardanger pattern books, my box of fabric, a container of stitched doilies, closets, drawers, tote bags and storage baskets. I haven’t yet reached the breaking point where I throw up my arms and scream in disgust — but I’m getting close!

My poor mom, who has to hear about my lost pattern book, says, “It will show up when you least expect it — don’t worry!”

Clearly, I did not inherit her patience!

And so, I shall turn to St. Anthony for help. I’m not sure he helps Lutherans, so if any of you are Catholic, I’d appreciate any requests you could make to your patron saint of lost items.

I found a prayer on the Internet to help guide us all, and modified it for this particular situation.

“Tony, Tony,
look around.
Julie’s pattern book is lost
and must be found!”

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