Thursday, May 13, 2004

Amazing Providence
Thirteen years after first meeting one another, we met again. I was a senior at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School when a class service project placed me in contact with Sgt. Rick Staton, an Oklahoma City Police Department motorcycle officer. He spoke to the class and explained our duties assisting motorcycle officers in visiting a local disabled children's home. We helped the officers push their bikes into the facility and we assisted children sitting on the bikes. I hadn't seen Sgt. Staton since then. [Okay, enough of the disbelief! It is true. I have never been issued a ticket by any officer of the OCPD.] Each time I have seen a motorcycle officer I have wondered what ever happened to him.

Then on Monday, I was speaking to my mother's next door neighbor in his front yard when a motorcyle officer pulled up to the corner and began clocking traffic. We each noticed one another, but went on with our business. As the neighbor and I spoke, the officer would pull out and follow a car to issue a ticket. Then he would return to his post. At one point, I was walking across the yard to my mom's house and I heard the officer return to his post, but the sound of his running bike continued for longer than it should have. And the sound kept getting closer to me. So, I turned to see the officer approaching me along the curb. He clearly intended to speak to me, so I stopped. He asked if I was "canvassing" the neighborhood. I told him I was just visiting mom's neighbor. Then I looked at his nametag and I couldn't believe it. It was Sgt. Staton! And to think, the meeting probably would not have happened had we each not been wearing our uniforms.

Thirteen years had passed. I am now a priest and he is about to retire in a few months. He told me he is now married, hoping to become Catholic, and trying to have children. He asked for prayers for children. Perhaps our readers can say a prayer that Sgt. Staton and his wife will be blessed with children. And while you are at it, pray for the same for a St. Louis Police Officer an his wife, who is my cousin. They, too, are hoping to be blessed with children.

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