of my strong childhood memories was going
with my father to deliver, for the Saint Vincent
De Paul Society, boxes of used clothing for
the boys at The Guardian Angels Home for Children,
a large brick house
on Shrine Park Road south of Leavenworth, Kansas.
know that the orphanage was operated
Oblate Sisters of Providence
from Baltimore. (The structure was still
in use as of 2012, as an apartment house.)
Home seemed a somewhat sad place,
set among shadowy trees on a dusty lawn.
I have always harbored a sympathetic affection
for those sweet black nuns
in their elaborate starchy bonnets,
and the little boys they so lovingly nurtured.
I learned later that the boys who lived there
were transported in a flatbed truck
- in all weathers - to an all-black Catholic
school at the black Holy Epiphany Parish
in North Leavenworth.
pray now, God, for those dear good sisters,
and those sweet parentless boys, who lived
in the sad times of segregation in the United
States. God, please, bless the glowing souls
of all those loving nuns, and their precious,
shining little charges, and give them
in heaven very special comforts and favors which
they certainly did not enjoy here
this I fervently ask through my own guardian
angel, of You, Lord God,
Our Creator, Our Father, Our Protector,
Our Holy Redeemer.