My parents never missed Mass, that’s for sure, and they taught us our prayers. My mother was a marvellous woman, raised eight children, did her own cooking and sewing at night and got us all up in the morning.
My brothers were all very good boys. We had a Holy Name Society where we were trained to do public speaking. I already had the intention to try to become a priest when, around 1928, I gave about a five minute speech on “The Duties of a Priest”.
I was an Altar boy early on. Fr. Fullerton, our pastor, came to the house and told my mother that he’d like to train me to serve at the Altar. My mother used to get me up to serve Mass. I served at the 8am Mass and went to school without having breakfast, since I went to Holy Communion. The Eucharistic Fast in those days started from midnight onwards and with no water. I didn’t go home for lunch, but sometimes my mother gave me fifteen cents and I got fish and chips. If I served at the 7am Mass, I went home for breakfast. When I went to De La Salle Catholic High school, I used to take lunch in a bag.