Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fresh, Father Time, As It's Called

We all like fresh bread and cakes.

At least, I do.

And, with the page of the calendar turning to 2013, I'm  trying to turn my heart with it.

That is to say, I'd like to ask forgiveness for an offensive story that had my name on it in The Oakland Press, and, The Daily Tribune.

You see, when I was growing up, my parents taught me to reconcile with them, and, my siblings, among others, before we arrived in our brown, Dodge automobile, at the late Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Detroit.

Only then were the car doors unlocked for us to tell our pastor our sins. Imagine nine of us sitting on a sibling's lap in that vehicle!

Formally, confessions are private and personal.  Yet, although that is not what I'm telling readers here, this revered parental practice that I was taught, means so much to me today, also.

I offended my editor, and, the family of the brother, among others, who I sat next to in the edifice at the final Mass on a Sunday afternoon, recently. His parent's names were written by him at the top of my pad, along with Madison Heights, as the interviewee's city of residence, only blocks away, he assured me, when I confirmed the name and city.  Wrong!

Boy, was that incorrect, even after I questioned him from my chair, pointing to the names he listed at the top, with Royal Oak crossed out when the parishioner told me he resides in Madison Heights.
My apology was accepted by a member of the family by way of an online media outlet, when I called the lone telephone I could secure since parishioner contact information records were "accidently deleted" at St. Dennis, admitted a receptionist at the merging parish in Madison Heights, MI.  What else could go wrong here, I thought.

Even though my editor told me on the telephone to forget this issue when we discussed it, it's an unhealed wound for me, given my Catholic practices. Resitution has to be made, I was taught.  And, when I was told I ruined one's reputation, I am all the more in need of seeking forgiveness.

Julie Jacobson is a well-known and respected journalist, and, city editor, who manages The Oakland Press, a major metropolitan daily. She challenged me to rewrite copy often. I learned a lot from her.

Roger Wingelaar, another former writer, and, Jacobson taught me how to write clear, succinctly, and, factually. But, I got this lone story wrong after a half-decade of submissions. It was flawed. I accept responsibility.  The buck stops here with this writer.

And, I own up the errors in the piece that offended alumni of St. Dennis School, readers, my editor, and, staff, among others, at the distinguished, The Oakland Press. 

I'm willing to meet face-to-face to seek forgiveness.  Is there any other humane way, despite digital media, or, the telephone that limps for this kind of reconciliation?

That meeting would honor my parents, also, who taught the seven of us youngsters how to ask for forgiveness, that, missing the mark, like the archer who aims poorly, although my error was far from intentional to qualify for sinful matter.

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