Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm Not Catholic...

Which will be quite obvious after this story!

When I was newly married, my husband and I worked part time as janitors in the evenings, to pay our school bills. One of my first jobs was to clean a Catholic church. Prior to this, I had never stepped inside a Catholic church! The only Catholic I knew was an uncle and we only spoke of that in hushed, pained voices. I come from a long line of Baptists and am the fifth generation of Baptist preacher's kids...we just never met many Catholics.

On my very first day, I was diligently vacuuming the multi purpose room which was where Mass was held and also used for other meetings including Bingo on the weekends. They had a rather ornate communion table with red velvet curtains which fell from the table top to the floor. Striving to do a thorough job, I pushed aside the curtains to vacuum under the table.

The sight I saw under the table turned my blood ice cold! I saw a pair of lifeless, bloody feet! I threw my hands up and screaming, ran off the platform into the arms of my husband! The priest and a nun came running to see what the commotion was all about.

I told them! There was a dead body stashed under the communion table! You should have seen their faces! Apparently, the church had a life size crucifix which they hung on the wall during Mass, but hid under the communion table during Bingo, not deeming it proper for Christ to look down upon such activity.

Oops! My bad. The priest was very kind when he realized my ignorance and he chuckled a bit about it.

A few weeks later, I decided to clean a small basin I had noticed. It was gold plated and a bit scummy to my eyes. I scrubbed and scrubbed and rinsed and rinsed until it shown!

Then I was given a lecture about Holy Water and how it had to be procured and blessed by a Bishop as it was the only water to be used for baptizing. It seems one does not wash it down the drain!

Oops! My bad. The priest was very patient as he explained but he did not find it funny at all.

The final straw happened a few weeks later. The church had a small break room and the priest had told us to help ourselves to any food there. Often we would find donuts or pastries and being poor college students, we did help ourselves! But on this day, there were no snacks out...except for a box of some kind of strange wafers. My husband and I both grabbed handfuls of the crackers to snack on as we worked. They did not have much flavor but did have a curious texture and way of melting on your tongue.

This time the priest was not even polite. I guess one should not snack on the Lord's body! For these curious wafers were the Host. In our defense, they were very different from the unleavened bread used by baptists in our communion services!

Oops! My bad. We never were sent back to clean that church but were reappointed to a bank.

I wonder if that priest remembers me?

29 comments:

Liz said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!!
It reminds me of a girl who used to go to church with her cousin. They were always early each sunday and to kill time , they did lots of things.

Rang the bell of the priest's house and ask for a glass of water. Rang it pretty loud!

Lighted all the candles in the church (it seems that you have to pay for each one)

As for the holy water.. they (we, hehehe) decided to make it at home. You see, their moms had to go downtown (far away) to get it from monseƱor.

No disrespect to catholics, it's just a true tale from my childhood.

Jungle Mom said...

Liz, Hahaha! We are a lot alike it seems!

The Localmalcontent said...

That IS so funny!!

Snacking on the body of Christ - - sounds good in theory, at least!

That is a goldmine memory! thanks for sharing it, Rita.

Webutante said...

Now that's funny, and sounds like the kind of thing I'd do too. Isn't it fun to live and learn?!

Dawn said...

This really cracked me up.
Too too funny. I would probably have done something similar!

Dawn said...

Okay, this really made me chuckle. Sounds like something I might do!

Abouna said...

So you are the One who ate all the wafers!(LOL)

I knew it just had to be a Roman Catholic Church. We Orthodox use a specially baked bread for our Eucharistic services, and as for the Holy Water, each priest blesses the water himself for baptisms.

But Bloody feet under the altar, man that is funny.

Jungle Mom said...

Abouna,
So you do remember me? I suppose I do need to learn to clarify myself about Roman Catholic Church, just proves another aspect of my ignorance!

Terri said...

Rita that made me laugh out loud! When my Daddy was a little boy, he was walking home from ball practice on a hot summer day. He was thirsty so he ducked into the local church for a drink of water. The priest nabbed him and dragged him by his ear to his grandfather's house for drinking from the holy font! My great-grandfather, also a Baptist, was not amused.

Thursday's Child said...

LOL I love that story!

Hiding Jesus under the altar? Priceless.

Starla said...

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Ha, ha ooh so funny. I am sure that that priest remember you!!! I sure he will never forget you. that was so good. I was happy to have a good laugh at midnight. oooh, I hope I don't wake my husband up, he might not find it funny.lol But he does most things so I think that he would. connie from Texas

Yekwana Man said...

I still remember the scream! And I also remember how hard I tried not to laugh.....didn't work, cause I was LOLOMKWTCOOME!!!!

MK said...

LOL, good one JM, thanks for sharing.

Thriver said...

Hilarious!!!! I've never been inside a catholic church. I've been to a methodist one though. They way they call it "mass" just creeps me out for some reason.

The Simple Scholar said...

Yes, I had a birthday! April 13, I turned 22!

Rebecca said...

LO! ROFL! I LOVE IT!

The Hermit said...

I went to a Catholic church with friends for a while when I was in college. The Priest wore a tye dyed robe, played the guitar, and smoked pot. This all seemed very strange to me (I was raised Southern Baptist and went to church in Grange hall) but I figured as long as they weren't hurting anybody what harm in it? I got bored and stopped going though.

WomanHonorThyself said...

LMBO!..is there anythin u guys did right?..ha!

Cheesecakeluvrs4life said...

Wow, that is funny...When we were in Mexico passing out tracts by this big huge Catholic church, we went in it was kinda scary, freaky too. Then their was like this big huge building and it was like a Catholic service going on...they were all chanting...it sounded scary too! That's so sad...they believe that stuff!

Carrie said...

I dont think that priest will ever forget you. There is never a dull moment with you.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
Carrie

Michelle said...

too, too funny!!!!

At least you didn't run across the bones.

Obob said...

on behalf of the Holy See, we'll let you slide on this one. I'll say a few Hail Marys and put you down as a future booster for the Domer football squad. Unless those kids a BC get upset.

Renegade Eye said...

Good post.

Heather K said...

oh my! hahahaha!! that is too funny..you REALLY tried that priest's patience! not once or twice...but THREE times!!

Pinky said...

Ooops!
I would've done the same things!!!

Pam said...

What a hoot! It reminds me of my fright when touring the huge Catholic churches in Mexico. I remember one had a glass casket/vault with a dead Jesus lying in it. Freaked me out to just walk by it.

Jelena said...

Cheesecake said:"That's so sad...they believe that stuff!"

Well, good thing you believe in a much better fairytale.

Mrs. Who said...

If the wafers were in the 'break room', then they weren't consecrated, therefore, not the body of Christ. Once the wafers are consecrated, they are not left laying around, but are placed reverently in the Tabernacle.

While many people do not understand, we Catholics take seriously Christ's command to 'eat His body', one of His last commands before He gave His life for us.

May we all be accepting of Christ's words to love one another.