Amazing Priest

by John Raczka, 1965

Father Lariviere was a huge influence on my life. His personality with the boys was unique to say the least.

I still tell stories about him to friends and acquaintances throughout my life.

One of my favorites was how he would throw a heavy biology book like a basketball to the back of the room, landing on the head of a misbehaving student.

That would be followed up with his booming voice: 'LEVITY! " "THERE WILL BE NO LEVITY IN THIS CLASS! "

I remember memorizing "The Raven" and "The Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner" for his class. He showed us that the impossible could be accomplished.

"TWO HOURS A NIGHT!" That was our homework command. And you did two hours because you knew the consequences if you did not do it.

He was extremely intimidating. But it worked.

I got to see his softer side though. John Talbot and I were locked up in Juvenile Hall for two weeks for joyriding in a stolen car.

Father Lariviere came to my cell and brought the school assignments. Shakespeare. What an incredible experience learning Shakespeare in a jail cell for two weeks, I have loved Shakespeare ever since.

Father Lariviere spoke kindly to me and heard my confession. I will never forget him.