Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crown him with many clowns...

Beelzebozo and Jesus
There was a particularly awkward incident during my seminary formation where the Vocation Director of Jackson and myself were visiting another seminarian for the diocese in another seminary. The visit was unannounced. When we knocked on the door, the seminarian opened it, supposedly not expecting us. When he saw who it was, he shut the door and then opened it a few seconds later after the Vocation Director insisted. What we saw is something I will never forget. A grown man, in his late 30's, standing in a wife beater and "I'm...I'm...a clown minister," he admitted. He would later choose another path in life. One, notably, that did not involve spraying people with a flower or wearing size 20 red shoes.

Odd but preposterous? No. Not at all.

Fr. Jerry Hogan has been doing circus ministry for years! The Huffington Post has this to say:

Fr. Hogan in his big top chausible
"... Rev. Jerry Hogan dons a colorful chasuble festooned with images of big tops, lions and zebras. As he administers the Eucharist, off-duty performers help sanctify the space by kneeling on the marble floor, praying and breaking spontaneously into Portuguese song.
The event is no act, even if it is associated with a three-ring circus."

Oh, wait, there's more...

"The Circus and Traveling Show Ministries of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provides the spiritual lifeblood for about 4,500 Catholics who work in North America's 41 traveling circuses, as well as thousands more who work in carnivals, rodeos and auto racing."

Gah-golly! There's a traveling show ministry in the USCCB?? So, what about touring with acts like...SNOW PATROL? or VOLBEAT? Oh..ICP! CLOWNS AND ROCK AND ROLL ALL IN ONE! Can I?

USCCB, you never fail to amuse me. I mean you're funny. But not like a clown.