By Jonathan TIndor

I almost missed Sr. Le’s consecration.

The consecration was one part of the opening worship service, which was being held in the Palm Court room on Loyola University’s campus. The word “room” does not do the space justice. The walls and ceiling of Palm Court are made of glass. From it, a person can see Lake Michigan and the campus. As Mike Watson, our photographer, told me later, “this space is beautiful. Every fifteen minutes the light changes completely and everything looks different.”

In a closet full of tables, chairs, and little palm trees in pots, sisters were getting ready to lead the worship service. Across the hall, there was an elevator. I thought, “this is great. I wonder where it comes out [on the first floor]. This would be a much easier way to get to Palm Court for the sisters.”

As the doors opened and I stepped in, one of the sisters getting ready called out, “let us know if you get stuck”. I chuckled and said, “I will”. It was only after I had hit every button on the panel that it occurred to me that I actually was stuck.

My first thought was, “I am claustrophobic.” My second was, “I am going to miss the consecration.” My third was, “at least Mike will take nice photos.”

I did start to panic. I texted people. I called people. But the people I texted were all involved in the service and had not seen my texts and calls. I don’t know about you, but when I am involved in a service, I do not answer my phone. Finally, I called Jan Rizzo. She and Damika mobilized Loyola’s staff, and around twenty minutes after I first pushed the “1” button, the elevator descended to the first floor.

On the ground floor, I met two maintenance workers. They were not thrilled at having to rescue me. They seemed undecided as to whether the elevator itself was malfunctioning or the person who had been in it.

I also met two campus police officers. They decided after a few minutes of questioning that I had made an honest mistake. They accepted that I was just trying to be helpful and not something else. I never did figure out what they thought I might have done.

Here are two funny things:

  • Sr. Noreen tried to rescue me. She had finished getting set up for the consecration and noticed my texts and calls. She rushed to elevator. She pushed the button. She had to wait the time it took the elevator to travel up from the first floor. The doors opened. The elevator was empty. She returned to her seat and told Sr. Krista that I had played a prank on them.
  • After the service, I was one of the last to leave. The student who drove the golf cart came back to make sure that he did not need to transport anyone else. Jan, Damika, and I were chatting about my adventure. The student looked excited. “That was you!?” The word had already gone round the student employees that someone had gotten stuck in an elevator.