Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
1) Whispered by a father in the pew behind me to his children who were being a little noisy: “When we get to the car I’m testing all of you on what the gospel was. And if you get it wrong you’re dead.”
2) Whispered by my daughter minutes before going up for her First Communion: “Dad, I think I’m gonna’ throw up.” (She did. Our parish priest later came to our home to offer her the Eucharist but she was still sick so we waited until the next week.)
3) Said by priest who noticed that two birds had flown into the Church and were dive bombing parishioners: “Oh, I know how to get the birds out of here. I’ll baptize them and then they’ll only come back twice a year on Christmas and Easter.”
4) Deacon in January 2009: “There’s been a lot of talk about ‘hope’ recently and I think we’ve all gotten excited and inspired about it.” (I thought about raising my hand and saying “Not me” but I didn’t.)
5) Jesuit priest from the altar right after Communion: “Are the dancers ready?” Uh-oh.
6) Little girl talking to her younger sister just after Communion in the pew in front of us: “Ha ha. I get Communion but you’re too little.” This was accompanied by a little celebratory dance.
7) My nine year old daughter to my eight year old while walking into Church: “You have to sing because my teacher said you get twice the credit for praying if you sing.” That night they asked me if we could sing our nighttime prayers. I said no.
8) Priest: “Oh the Book of Revelation is a bunch of hooey.”
9) An usher said to me and my wife while handing us the bulletin: “Whoa five kids. You really take this Catholic thing seriously, huh?”
10) Priest at the beginning of Mass: “If this is your first time here, we do things a little differently…Now give the person next to you a hug.”
11) During the homily a woman said to her husband: “This is a really boring bulletin.”