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Forging connextions while 'talking trash'

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

Aug. 14, 2019

My son can now claim he’s “talked trash” to a bishop.

It was “take my child to work day” last year, as my son, Jacob, made the trek from Moira to Ogdensburg with me to attend the annual diocesan Altar Server Picnic.

The picnic was scheduled to begin at 11, so Jake got to spend a few hours in the office with me before the festivities.

Jake, like his mother, loves NFL football. He’s a huge fan of two things: The Pittsburgh Steelers and “talking trash” to people who cheer for other teams.

Prior to the event, Jake and I had discussed the football allegiances in the diocesan offices: Bishop LaValley likes the Giants; (then) Father Doug Lucia and Ian, the diocesan IT guy, cheer for the Patriots; Scott in the development office roots for the Cowboys…

With those allegiances in mind, Jake made sure to attend the Altar Server Picnic decked out in his Steelers gear – a t-shirt and hat representing his favorite team. It was his silent effort to “talk trash” to the other football fans at the chancery.

At one point in the day, as Jake was walking with me in the office, the new Bishop of Syracuse started walking behind him. He leaned down to Jake’s level and whispered, “Patriots! Patriots!”

Jake loved that a priest was exchanging football jabs with him.

In December, four months after the picnic, our beloved Steelers defeated the Patriots. Jake asked me to relay a message to Father Doug.

“Make sure you ask him if he saw the game. You should sneak up behind him and say, ‘Steelers! Steelers!’”

Father Doug loved Jake’s message. I loved that Father Doug looked for and seized and opportunity to connect with my little big man, and I loved that Jake remembered and appreciated the connection. While he afforded Father Doug the respect befitting his vocation, Jake also viewed him as a regular guy, a guy with whom he could talk football and joke around.

The Diocese of Syracuse is blessed to have a great man as its bishop. Bishop Lucia is the kind of man who works to connect with others and to show them kindness and caring. He truly embodies Christ-like love.

While I was happy for the Diocese of Syracuse and for the new bishop when I learned of his appointment, I’ll admit that I was sad our diocese was losing such a fantastic priest. I was also sad Jake wouldn’t have his trash-talking buddy at this year’s Altar Server Picnic.

The Fargo family is keeping Bishop Lucia in our prayers. We pray his transition is smooth. We pray he draws people to Christ in the Diocese of Syracuse the same way he did here. We pray he has the wisdom to make good decisions in difficult times.

Jake also prays Bishop Lucia has a change of heart and picks a different favorite football team, one that isn’t universally disliked.

We hear the Steelers are pretty great.

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