A joyful noise

If Msgr. Jack Bendik were a character in a cartoon strip, his laugh would be spelled “Har!” in the little text balloon.
Actually, it would be more like: Har! Har! Har! Har!
Better yet. Make that all caps. HAR! HAR! HAR! HAR!
Yep, that’s better.
In fact, that’s perfect.
Msgr. Bendik laughs with his whole being.
I’ve known this laugh for more than 25 years. He was our pastor at Our Lady of the Snows Church in Clarks Summit when we lived there from 1989 through 1995.
Psalm 100 says “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” and that’s how we always described Msgr. Bendik’s laugh. Surely, even God laughs when he laughs.
My daughter Greta was 6 and my son Michael 3 when we first encountered Msgr. Bendik. Each picked up the laugh almost immediately. And they can do it to this day.
The first time I volunteered to call Bingo at the annual St. John the Evangelist Church Bazaar in Pittston, oh, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, I heard that familiar laugh coming from behind me and spun around only to discover no Msgr. Bendik. What the?
Then the person laughed again, and when I saw her face it all made sense. This had to Msgr. Bendik’s sister, and it was. She has his laugh and his face.
She’s been at every bingo since and I am hoping to see her again Saturday (tomorrow, Aug. 6) night when I will be calling out the numbers once again.
I am on duty from 8 to 10. Stop by. Bingo is 50 cents. The laughs are priceless.

Ed Ackerman