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All Creatures Great And Small

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 1, 2021

When I was a kid, we hosted a Japanese exchange student. She was very interested to learn about our culture and came to church with us when we invited her along.

We got to church and found a place to sit. It was a warm day, and the doors were all propped open to let in the breeze. Right before church started, a huge Newfoundland dog came bounding in through the open door, ran up to the altar, faced the congregation, and barked loudly several times. Then, it sprinted back outside as quickly as it had come in.

No one said anything; we were all too surprised. To this day, in three and a half decades of regular church attendance, the only other dog I’ve seen in a church is a service dog. Our exchange student looked around at people still sitting quietly, apparently not reacting, and then gave us a very confused look.

Exchange Student: “Is that normal?”

That’s One Way To Learn

, , , , | Learning | May 30, 2021

This happens during a catechism lesson when all the kids are drawing or otherwise occupied with manual activities. My daughter, who’s six or seven, is a combination of sheltered and curious and has no filter whatsoever.

Daughter: “If coffee contains caffeine and tea contains theine, does Coke contain cokeine?”

The teacher reprimanded her a LOT, and gave us a piece of her mind when we picked up our daughter, as well. That evening, we imparted to my daughter a crash course about drugs.

Bless Her Heart, And Ditzy’s, Too

, , , , , | Related | May 22, 2021

I am three years old. We’re dressing up to go to church with my godparents, who are very religious and proper. My father is putting on his dress shoes and doesn’t realize our poodle has done her business inside of one. He puts his foot right in it. I find his absolutely hilarious.

Later, we’re sitting in the church and my godmother is in the pew next to me. Even though the minister is talking, I decide that this is the perfect time to fill her in on the awesome events of the morning.

Me: “Aunt [Godmother]! Ditzy pooped in Daddy’s shoe!”

Godmother: “Shh!”

I think she just doesn’t believe me, so I reply much louder.

Me: “But it’s true! Ditzy pooped in Daddy’s shoe!”

Godmother: “[My Name], hush!

The minister has begun to speak at a higher volume and people are turning to look at our pew. My mother tries in vain to quiet me and my father is laughing. I am getting mad now.

Me: “Ditzy pooped in Daddy’s shoe! She did!”

The minister starts almost shouting to drown me out. I start shouting, too.


My godparents were mortified. My mother was about to crawl under the pew and hide. My father was laughing so hard he could barely breathe. They finally got me calmed down, and at the end of the sermon, the minister came over to congratulate my parents on having a daughter with such fine lungs.

So Much For The Compassion Of The Clergy

, , , , | Working | May 4, 2021

Sadly, my dad has recently given up the ghost due to the current health crisis. Since my family lives in a region that doesn’t allow people from other areas of Italy to enter without a work or health-related reason, his side of family cannot come and participate in the traditional mourning ritual, but we still try to fulfill his funerary wishes to be buried by Catholic rite. To that end, my mom calls up the priest of the parish where my dad used to go in life.

Priest: “Hello and good day, parochial office of [Parish]. How may we help you?”

Mom: “Father [Priest]… my poor husband, Mr. [Dad], has died. I was wondering if you were available to give him the funeral blessings, despite this horrid situation.”

Priest: “My condolences, Mrs. [Mom]. May God rest his soul, given what he’s gone through. I’m available, but I think that, given how things are going, something outside of the church might be better.”

Mom: “That’s understandable, but how would it work?”

Priest: “I don’t think your husband would’ve wanted to have a lot of pomp during his last journey to God. I’m of the idea that I shall come to your house, read a passage, and then have his sons and his daughter read a poem related to him before the hearse comes to bring him to the cemetery.”

My mom is rather taken aback; my dad was a bit crude in his manners, but he did explicitly request a solemn funeral, incense, and specific passages read.

Mom: “Seriously?”

Priest: “Yes, I’m sure that’s what he would’ve wanted anyway.”

Mom: *Upset* “No, that’s not what he would’ve wanted at all!”

Priest: “Eh, I mean, a full ceremony definitely doesn’t suit his personality. I think that reading poetry from his children would be more fitting than just reading a few impersonal passages. Besides, right now, it’s not possible to do a full funeral, so his requests are sadly moot. You can always have that proper funeral at a later date.”

Mom: *Very upset* “I know how things are! We would be just me, my family, and you! If it’s really not possible to use the church, our garden will be fine. I just want to satisfy his request to read his favourite passages and have some incense spread.”

Priest: “I still think the poetry is the best option. Reading the Holy Bible in a garden really isn’t very appropriate, anyway. Just hold off until things are better to read those passages.”

Mom: *Holding back tears* “We have nothing more to discuss, goodbye!”

And with that, my mom hung up and started crying quite a bit. Later that day, my brother and I did manage to find a priest that was willing to conduct a proper-as-possible funeral. Seriously, what kind of priest refuses to read the Bible for a ceremony?

We Have Often Entertained Angels Unaware

, , , , , , | Related | April 22, 2021

I was raised Catholic and used to be very involved in the church. I was baptized and confirmed, I used to be a catechism teacher in high school, I was in the youth group and youth choir, my sister was in the choir and was an altar server, my mom was a catechism teacher for over a decade, and my father was a lector and Eucharistic minister. We went to church every Sunday. Sometime after I moved out of my parents’ house, I stopped going to church, mostly out of laziness.

It is Palm Sunday, the weekend before Easter. I am at my parents’ house, and they invite me to church with them. I decide to go — why not? On the car ride to church and during mass, my dad starts “preparing” me for what mass is going to be like, basically teasing me and pretending this is my first time ever in a church. He explains what a missalette is, tells me when to sit, stand, and sing, and makes small comments throughout mass with a tiny smile on, so I know he’s joking.

It is time for communion. My mom is standing between us. My dad leans over.

Dad: “After the priest gives you communion, you say ‘Amen’.”

I smile, he stands back on his side, and I whisper to my mom:

Me: “I thought I was supposed to say, ‘Compliments to the chef’?”

She lets out a laugh/snort and covers her mouth to hide her smile. My dad, clueless, asks her to relay what I said. She tells him, and he looks at me, trying to stifle a giggle. Hiding his smile, he tells me:

Dad: “You’re going to Hell.”

I hope God has a sense of humor.