My Secular, Jewish Father Loved Christmas | Michael Coren | Catholic World Report
Some of God’s creatures are in the Church and do not even know it.
I have been privileged to meet many of the finest and purest Christians in the world, some of them Catholic and some not; mind you, most of the latter have since crossed the river or are standing on the side, gathering their courage for the dive. They have inspired me, influenced me, educated me, and changed my life.
But this and every Christmas I think of a person who embodied the spirit of love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and humanity more than anyone else I have ever encountered. Yet he wasn’t even religious, let alone a Christian. He had never really been taught about Christianity, knew little about Christian beliefs, and was convinced that the sand-paper of hypocrisy had rubbed away much of the splendor of organized faith. As for the Roman Catholic Church, he knew little and cared less.
He was a secular Jew, his name was Phil Coren, and he was my father. And he loved Christmas.
The season of magic began for me at around 2:00 am on Christmas Day morning. That was when I heard the distinctive sounds of the London black taxi cab diesel engine driving up the suburban east London street to my house where I lived and spent my formative years. To a child, work and income mean nothing, which is probably the way it should be. I didn’t realize, and my father would have been angry if I had realized, that he was not paid when he didn’t work—but that whatever happened, he would always devote Christmas Day to his wife and to his children, to what mattered most to him and to his family.
So he worked 14 hours or more on Christmas Eve.