Apparently, I am a Martian

I went out for lunch today with the deacon of our parish, Deacon Richard Boileau, who in his day job is Executive Director of Health Partners International, a NGO which ships free medicines to developing nations. We had a very nice chat, sharing on our respective vocations, as well as on how we see the developing role of the laity in the Church. He pointed me to this article written by the late Claude Ryan, which really is quite good. None of this has to do with me being a Martian.

I discovered my Martian status as I was heading home. I decided to stop in at the nearby mall, Fairview Pointe-Claire, just to do a bit of window shopping. It is a huge mall, so at one point I decided to pull out my rosary and pray a bit as I walked around. (To assist with this visual, I should point out that I was wearing my clerical shirt, collar in.) It was then that I realised I must, in fact, be a Martian, because a number of people looked at me as if I was from Mars.

You know, I am a pretty staid, conventional, “plain vanilla” kind of guy. Yet I never felt so…..counter-cultural! It was kinda neat. At one point I saw a couple of girls dressed in the “goth” style of clothing/hair/piercings, and I felt like we were in the same boat….except they were getting less reaction than I was.

I did run into a couple of parishioners while I was there, which was nice, and while I didn’t so much, in retrospect it is quite possible that hundreds of people had an experience they never expected: they actually (gasp!) got a glimpse of a real live Martian priest! And while the professional debunkers may emerge to remind people that real live young & happy priests don’t really exist except in movies and in old grainy pictures, the truth is now out there. Perhaps I shall return again for another walkabout.