Monday, April 26, 2010

St. Maximilian Kolbe (Jan. 8, 1894 to Aug. 14, 1941)

  Several months before digital cameras became the standard in newsrooms, I was told that although I was a journalist and took many of my own photos, I would still have to learn how to develop film should one of the photographers be on vacation, out sick, or on another assignment.
  I was 36-years-old at the time and my "teacher" would be the 23-year-old photographer for the daily newspaper that every woman who worked for the company wanted to have a relationship with. I could care less since I had an on-again, off-again boyfriend and didn't want anything serious with anyone.
 But, when I went into the darkroom for my first "session," I did the unthinkable. I had sex with him. After that day, we'd do it any chance we got and in any place we could find including state parks, cars, hotels, and at night in people's backyards.
  I wasn't the seducer, so I didn't feel I was doing anything wrong. Plus, I wrote five or six cover page articles each day and had a reputation for being the best journalist at the company.
  The thing is, no one knew what was going on except for a young co-worker who was my friend that worked downstairs in the main office.
  "I think that is so cool," she would say me. "I want to be like you, when I'm your age."
  I didn't even want to be involved with the photographer, but my boyfriend barely noticed me (he was a self-centered graphic designer and musician) and the young guy was giving me all the attention in the world and wanted to have sex two or three times a day.
  So, on days that we'd be at it in the darkroom, I'd immediately go back to my desk and conduct interviews over the phone like nothing had happened. The photographer said that it drove him wild.
  At the same time, the married, overweight assistant editor was madly in love with him and she would often tell me she would leave her husband if he expressed any interest in her.
  Finally, I met another guy, and decided to call it quits with the photographer after five months. He continued to pursue me, even after I left that job. Funny thing is, I ran into him on the street a few years later, when I was writing for another newspaper.  He was newly married and still trying to get me to hook up with him. No such deal.
  St. Maximilian Kolbe is a patron saint of journalists. He was born Rajmund Kolbe in what is now Poland on Jan. 8, 1894. As a young boy, he saw a vision of the Virgin Mary which helped influence his career path. He joined the Conventual Franciscan Friars in 1907.
  St. Maximilian Kolbe promoted the veneration of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. At the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz in Poland, he volunteered to die in place of a man he didn't even know.
  St. Maximilian Kolbe endured starvation, thirst, and abuse for two weeks before he was injected with carbolic acid. He died on Aug. 14, 1941. Canonized: 1982. His feast day is Aug. 14.

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