Monday, August 3, 2009


Last week was the Akron Art Expo and on Sunday after the Mass schedule Fr. P. and I decided to go walk over for a peek. It was hot and I asked Father, “Do you want to go over in shorts or like clerics.” Here’s where it is fun being with a bloke who is new and on fire with the priesthood. “In our blacks of course,” he replied. Fortunately the streets in this part of Akron are lined with giant shade trees and so it was not so bad. If nuns could survive in full habits over the centuries I could survive in light cotton black shirt.

It does make a difference. On Saturday having the dog out on a walk (I was in shorts) I spied a coffee table that Father could use in his room at a yard sale. Back at the rectory I grabbed him and we walked to the sale, bought the table and walked it back home. I man stopped me at Mass this weekend and said he saw Fr. P. walking down the street carrying furniture with a homeless man and was he not just grand. *sigh*

Anyway, back at the Expo, I got stuck unusually long waiting for a deep fried Oreo (O my) and when I finally got my deep fried treat Fr. was in a deep conversation with a young man. He had left the Church some time ago for all of the usual reasons – gay marriage – abortion – etc. – and came up to Father and asked, “Are you a Catholic priest?” One must ask these days. It seems so many people are wearing these popish collars. “I was wondering if I could talk to you . . .”

It seems that I write a lot about visible clergy but every so often it is reinforced in my book (not every agrees) how terribly important it is.

Okay - the picture here came up in a search for "priests in a crowd." This is a "Hunk Priest of the Month Calendar." I couldn't beleive it. But here it is.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the conversation that took place with Fr. P. at the Akron Arts Expo, I was wondering why the young man (who must have thought he'd made a courageous decision to leave the church) nevertheless felt compelled to seek out a priest to tell about his decision. Was the young man seeking "absolution?" Or did he expect to "convert" Fr. P to his way of thinking and thereby get Fr. P. to leave the Church too? This young man just couldn't "go in peace" unless he spoke to a priest. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

"Hunk priests." I don't think it is women who are lusting after the "unattainable" men pictured here. On the other hand, a nice looking young man (by the world's standard) who enters the seminary is the "unblemished lamb" given to the Lord.

MJ said...

When Bryan and I were in Rome 5 years ago, I saw that calendar for sale at a store.
I thought it a bit weird.
Guess it is still a popular item!!

Adoro said...

Anon ~ Which gives greater glory to God? Being grateful, for whatever reason that young man spoke with Father about having left the Church, or judging his motives and lamenting them?

Whatever the reason he asked to speak with Father, the door was opened to him and he found a listening ear, and that man may one day come back to the Church and be in full communion.

I spend more time lamenting the shrewish commentaries of various Catholics, anon or not, who in so doing, chase people away from even TRYING to talk to a priest or sister for fear they'll get the same response from the clergy as they do from we lay people.

And oh, yes, I'm guilty of chasing many many souls away from Holy Mother Church.

Anonymous said...

Adoro, I regret that my questions came across as "judging" the young man's motives, "lamenting them" and sounding "shrewish." I was intrigued by someone who would leave the Church and then puposely seek out a clergyman to tell him so. If I were ever in such a situation, I would prefer to get past the "usual reasons" the person was giving for having left the Church and try to discern what was really bothering him. If the genuine root of the problem could be ascertained, perhaps a more pertinent response could be given that would assist the person's return. I didn't know that lay people attack such questioners and chase them away.

Anonymous said...

Yum, deep fried oreo's. I went to McDonalds and they advertize "apple fries" so I bought some--sounded delicious--when I got them--they were apple pieces in the shape of fries--what a rip-off--sheesh, and I was hoping for deep fried apple fries.

IMHO, in the Summer, priests should be able to wear anything they want that's cool and comfortable!

Mikki said...

Adoro is spot on. This guy was trying to make a connection to the Church again. He wants to come back, but doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know if he can come back. He wanted to talk it out. Sometimes all it takes is the right person to talk with and an invitation to return. He was fishing, which gave Fr. P. the perfect opportunity to cast his net.

knuckledragger said...

It's hard to look "hunky" in a biretta.;^)

Norah said...

A few years ago on Amy Welborn's blog the question came up as to the authenticity of the young blokes in the calendar. Someone posted that they were actually Italian models and that he had seen the pictures being taken.

Adoro said...

Anon ~ My comment wasn't necessarily all directed at you although your comment was representative of many that I see everywhere that attack, as you seemed to be doing, the intentions of the person who was questioning the priest.

As a matter of fact, I was once very much like that young man. And in fact, my opening line, had I had the COURAGE to approach a priest, might well have been, "I have left/fallen away/ etc from the Church...."

And YES, comments like yours are seen as an attack by someone who is in a fragile place and might want to approach but doesn't know how. You never know who is reading this post and this commentary, and if someone like that comes across it and sees your you think they would feel more encouraged to speak of their agony or would they just say, "What a bunch of hypocrites" and walk away?

Like it or not, named or anonymous, how we project ourselves, our opinions, and the Church in blogs and comboxes can make a real difference for someone, whether they return to the Faith, or are chased away.

God is is we who are not.

Certainly there are those who are as you described, but in following the examples given by the Saints, instead of falling into the temptation to assume this man or others like him are doing that, it is better to assume the movement of the Holy Spirit within that person, encouraging him to open the door and speak with a priest about why he left and maybe, just maybe he'll finish his query with, "How do I come back?"

Had I run into a comment like yours when I was searching, perhaps I never would have come back. It was hard enough with my own interior struggle, within in which I assumed everyone could "see through me" and see what a "fraud" I was. Your comment would have confirmed my suspicions and I might well have been lost.

Words are powerful. We should never forget that.