(my phone rings late yesterday morning)
Hello Big Al, my friend, this is Francis.
Hi Papa, Merry Christmas!
Not so merry I’m afraid.
Oh no, what’s the problem?
I can’t find my manger set.
You’re the Pope, ask for another set.
No, you don’t understand; I’ve had this set since I was a boy. Won it with coupons from playing Skee-ball. I know I packed it when I left Buenos Aires.
Can you remember putting it away last year?
I didn’t set it up last year. My room is not that large and one of the Cardinals gave me a miniature version of Radio City Music Hall with a 36 piece Rockettes ensemble complete with two dance outfits each.
Wow…so why not just set that up again?
I broke it.
You’re telling me.
Have you looked in your garage?
Of course I looked in the garage. It’s where I keep all my decorations.
Ok, sorry. Everywhere in the Apostolic Palace?
Room of Tears?
Wait a minute, how about the Sobieski Room?
I thought of that too, but no luck.
Sorry Francis, I think it will show up but not this season.
Do you have a manger set?
No, but I visited one many years ago in St. Petersburg.
You were in Russia?
No Sir, Florida.
Ah, Florida…If I ever resign, I want to retire there. Oh well, I should go. I have two masses tomorrow and I need to prepare.
Merry Christmas Francis
Merry Christmas Big Al