Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

April 9, 2024

“Where did I go wrong”
— A common lament of parents

Stratford writer James Carmody recently had one of his plays selected for the Catholic Playwrights Festival at Theatre 71 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Manhattan.

James Carmody and SonThe play, titled, “Falling Apart to Come Together” centers on a middle-aged man whose wife has died, whose younger son is estranged and whose older son — contrary to the anti-Catholic father’s wishes — attends a Catholic college, opposes abortion, prays regularly and wants to be baptized into the Church. To quote the very angry, disconsolate father, “Where did I go wrong?”

The father and son view the world through entirely different lenses, but the one thing they have in common is the deceased woman who was wife and mother and a faithful Catholic. Her belief and kindness transcend the angry disputes between man and boy.

Carmody says the play is about grace, that supernatural force from God that changes everything for the better … even angry old men.

“The question is can the father accept the grace that is being offered through the son,” Carmody said. “Can he see it and recognize it as a way out of his anger and pain and have a reunification with his son, who is giving his father an opportunity to cooperate with God’s grace. God is working through the son.”`

And the boy’s deceased mother is working through him. Before she died, she gave him her rosary, which belonged to her mother, and the young man has prayed tirelessly for his father’s release from resentment and anger, exacerbated by her death. Carmody and his son Andrew played the roles in the Off-Broadway production.

The emotional intensity of the play escalates. At the end, the father and son embrace as the man says, “I don’t get it … where did I go wrong? I didn’t see any of this coming. I was blind to all of this. When did you begin to think about all of this?”

The son responds: “When Mom gave me this, shortly before she died.” And he shows him the rosary. “I have been saying this rosary every day since Mom gave it to me.”

“I never wanted my life to be like this,” the father says. “How did our family fall apart like this?” The son tells him, “There was never anything to hold it together … until now.”

***

Art imitates life. Never doubt your deceased family members are watching over you and praying for a good outcome for your tribulations.

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