The deal was made at some point before I was born. Because my father was a Roman Catholic Slovak and my mother was a Protestant adhering to the Calvinist Hungarian Reformed Church, my parents decided that any boys in the family were going to be Catholic and any girls, Protestant. As it happened, there were two boys born to Alex and Sophie Paris, my brother and I.
We were a religiously tolerant family: My father (occasionally) went to Mass, and my mother (occasionally) listened to the Reverend Csutoros’s weekly radio program and his sonorous sermons.
So what am I today? In Peru, I was a Catholic. Here in Los Angeles, I am evenly torn between the Hungarian Reformed Church—in honor of my mother—and the Greek Orthodox Church. Wherever I go, I find God.
Today, Martine and I attended the church fall bazaar at the First Hungarian Reformed Church of Los Angeles in nearby Hawthorne. We had some good Magyar home cooking, renewed our friendship with several families active in the church, and listened to the usual excellent program of music and dance. Present were members of the Karpatok Hungarian Dance Ensemble (shown above) who put on the usual spirited performance.
It is good to be a Hungarian from time to time, to speak the language of my youth with some good people and share a few hours with them.