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Evenings with Bishop Hank

“Dominus vobiscum!” I called as the white-haired gentleman opened the front door.

“Et cum spiritu tuo!” answered Bishop Hank, his dark brown eyes laughing.

Reciting this ancient Latin greeting was a ritual with us. Thankfully, we never prayed the Kyrie asking for God’s mercy. I felt guilty enough about telling the good bishop fibs.

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freeimages.com / James Goneaux

Bishop Hank had dementia, and maybe I did, too. Sometimes I’d forget he wasn’t a real bishop. For three years, I had been staying with Hank in the evenings while his daughter was at work. Like many caregiver situations, this one began with a scare. One wintry night Hank was found wandering the streets looking for his deceased wife, Betty. For his safety, he could no longer be left alone.

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