Friday, May 9, 2008


I’m sure you heard about the 23-cent pizza that Papa Johns was selling to Clevelanders yesterday. Everybody else did. I know because most of them were standing in our front lawn and filling our parking places.

I thought it might be fun to pop over the pizza joint and claim our 23-cent pizza for lunch and told the guys I would go over early and beat the crowd. HA! Take a look at this picture. This is the line from the pizza shop taken from my front window. From here it went down to the corner, turned, snaked through their parking lot and finally into the pizzeria.

My life is worth more than a couple of hours waiting for a 23-cent pizza.

But it got me thinking that maybe here is the marketing strategy that the Catholic Church needs to start employing. I mean, here was a large group of people who did not mind giving up an hour or so of their time, parking quite a distance away and walking to their destination on a misty day, and who did not mind standing in procession in an interminable line. It was like watching news reports of Cold War era Russia. And all for a cheap pizza that by today is only a memory save for the heartburn.

It would be easy to be snotty at this point. I am tempted. But the more I think about it the easier it is to think of the millions of faithful Catholics who are loyal to Christ every weekend and do the same. Getting to Mass is a hardship for some and sacrifices are made. This weekend in this parish alone about 1,600 people will stand in line to receive not pizza, but the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The next day the effects of that Eucharist will not just be a memory but an active agent in the life of these faithful people and a down payment on the life to come. There is a lot of hope in that.

My urge to be snotty is a basic human desire for others to share in what I see as important. Yes, 23-cent pizza is fun; eternal life is better.

Come back and park here on Sunday. Find true nourishment.


Anonymous said...

Yes, but is it those who are reading this? We have to offer a little "pizza" to turn some stubborn heads. At one time, our parish was a contender for the BLAH awards. We all knew it was important to bring us together socially, but we didn't even have post-Mass coffee. Seriously, we got together for nothing but Christmas caroling, if that. And someone has to run that coffee thing too alone sometimes, to get it into place, but once it's going, whew! On the nice days, folks would set up the things outside -- aw, the kids playing and old folks visiting with younger..awesome. That and many other new little starts brought us Catholics from 3 clique-y RC parishes to a combined gathering of those 3 and the Maronite church for RCIA (as well as for R.E. and Scripture study, except for the Maronites). From there, and from being on the pastoral council, one may have to sit the brand new Social Events chair, too, and get stuff going that the larger community can feel free to come in on. Also, the Knights here began holding a living Rosary where the whole town could see, as well as pro-life and May processions and Golden Rose moments out front. Birthright carnations on Mothers Days, the Knights' Tootsie Roll or pennies or crucifix benefits/sales, interparish dances, plays, etc. The larger community (and fallen-aways) come to see that Catholics can frolic. But I literally saw street people who hadn't been to church for eons come in and have coffee and doughnuts (our 23-cent pizza).

Adoro said...

I wouldn't stand in line for 23 cent pizza, either.

We do have some "versions" of that both where I work and the parish I call home. At the former, we had a party to celebrate the Pope's arrival to the US, and it was PACKED! And at the latter, we have annual springfest, involving a carnival. People come from EVERYWHERE for this. It's amazing.

knuckledragger said...

I was wondering if St Clare was affected by the pizza sale. Hopefully the parish grounds sustained no damage...

Anonymous said...

We seriously thought about waiting in line for the $0.23 pizzas - however when we saw how long the lines were, we got in the car & went to Boston Market for dinner!

We heard about a gentleman who waited in line for hours to get his pizza; walked outside toward his car when someone came up, took the pizza & ran off!

Would much rather wait in line for Jesus than a pizza anyway! (better toppings... faith, hope, charity, forgiveness).

Anonymous said...

Forget the pizza, eat Jesus! If you eat a Big Mac everyday, you'll turn into a Big Mac! If you eat Jesus everyday, you turn into ....?

I have a thought for one of our local Parishes-have Confession EVERYDAY, at different times, advertise it, "sell it". Teach people, educate them on the Love of Jesus in the Confessional-where Jesus told St. Faustina the "greatest miracles happen"--then wait and see the lines!


Odysseus said...

-The next day the effects of that Eucharist will not just be a memory but an active agent in the life of these faithful people and a down payment on the life to come.-

Only if there was a line of similar length at confession.

paramedicgirl said...

I wonder how many people reading this post noticed the parallel here: people who waited in line for pizza and thought nothing of the long wait; and then we hear people complain that Communion takes too long at Mass if there are no EMHC. The Eucharist is real food. It's the worth the wait to receive it from the hands of the ordained.

Unknown said...

"My life is worth more than a couple of hours waiting for a 23-cent pizza."


Waiting in line for three hours+ for a 23¢ pizza begs the question - do none of the cheap pizza eaters have marketable skills that make their time more valuable than that? a 23¢ pizza you wait in line for 3 hours to get, costs considerably more than 23¢.

Anonymous said...

Bingo, Simple Sinner. Maybe that's what God wanted us all to see, too. That there are people who need jobs, skilled or not. (If tech colleges didn't approximate a state uni's resident fees, maybe there'd be a lot more skilled, but it doesn't matter if grads have nowhere to bring skills to.) We can't leave it to the federal government to create jobs anymore, not even if a Dem is elected. We need to do that. I hope that is what Opus Dei laity is doing.