Part 1: Healthy Habits
|A Sunday coffee hour extravaganza at a Roman Catholic parish|
So, my first major lesson learned as a transitional deacon is: the Church needs to re-think what a wholesome priest is supposed to look like. And that requires me to remain faithful, despite the demands of the priesthood and the pressures exerted by the Church, to healthy habits I've developed over my whole adult life. It's part of my vocation, and in the end, it's just who I am. One morning this summer as I was leaving the rectory for a run, I met one of the young mothers of the children in the Montessori school housed at St. Clement's. Instead of being dressed in my cassock, or at least a clergy shirt and collar, I appeared in the garden wearing a tanktop, shorts, and baseball cap. She said, "you're not looking very priestly this morning." "No, I guess not," I replied, "but there's more than one way to look like a priest these days." Staring at my Christian tattoos, she said smiling, "yeah, and I'm glad for that. It's about time!" I was relieved by her reaction, because I believe it's important for a priest to be more than a comfortable stereotype. A priest is a whole person that should model healthy habits for living and integrity in one's identity. I hope that's the kind of priest I can be.
Coming soon . . . Part 2: Humor