Monday, January 29, 2007

craziness at the parish

This yesterday, there was some craziness at the parish I'm assigned to here in Baltimore... literally!

I was scheduled to serve the 9am and 10:30am Masses and a baptism at 1:15pm. I got to the parish as the 7:30am Mass was letting out and the sacristy was all a-buzz. Apparently (I got bits of the story), a guy off his meds got up during the homily, approached the cantor, asked her if he could stand up front, and she asked him to return to his pew, but he went up anyway and stood behind the altar. Then he started shouting something like, "That's not salvation! I know what salvation is!! yadda yadda yadda" Very nonchalantly, Fr. Steve asked the ushers to come up (Knights of Columbus mind you) who surrounded and tackled the guy! Then they called the cops and had the guy arrested. Meanwhile this guy's brother is pacing back and forth in the back of the Church with a big red poofy jacket on and his hands in his pockets. Everyone thought he had a gun! Everybody was really scared but I guess it smoothed over well because the people looked calm and normal when I got there. Thank God... seriously. Can I get a "hoo-rah" for the Knights of Columbus being Knights! Protecting the Church! haha :)

Before you wonder if their tackling of the crazy was too much, know that earlier that week a Methodist Church in the neighborhood was robbed at gunpoint during their service! The guy had all the women hand over their jewelry! I don't know how big the church is or how many people were at the service. But, having that fresh in the community's mind I think more than warranted the Knights' response. Again... hoo-rah for my Brother Knights!

eh-hem... OK I'm calmed down now! Anyway, before the 10:30am Mass, when Msgr. Barker the rugrats and I were lining up for the procession, I whispered to him that I'd be his bodyguard for the Mass. He chuckled. But I was thinkin, "Man...what if that guy went even more nuts? What if his brother did have a gun? Would I take a bullet for Msgr. Barker... cassock, surplice, and all... Archbishop Romero-style??

I was joking with a buddy of mine here at the seminary who was teasing me for just wanting a glamorous martyr's death. Don't we all! haha I admit I'm one to daydream about taking one for the team, throwing my body over the Eucharist to block a would-be desecrator, like my boy St. Tarcisius... or something like that. I guess it's not really a martyr's death if you want it huh? hehe I guess if it really comes down to it and it's real, then push comes to shove and you're faced with the circumstances and the risk and the repercussions and you gotta make a choice.

Again, I would hope I would do it. It's up to the Holy Spirit. All I/We can do is pray for Him to increase our love for the faith, for the Church, for the priesthood, for the Sacraments, for the Eucharist so that when/if the time comes I/We wouldn't have to think too hard about it.

This Wednesday, Jan 31, I'll be instituted into the Ministry of Acolyte. St. Tarcisius, ora pro nobis

1 comment:

Laura H. said...

Crazy. Literally. Glad everyone's okay. :) I'm excited about your Acolyte institution! It's so neat to here of a place that really respects each MINISTRY and trains properly for it!