Friday, July 29, 2011

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 Roman Catholic church. Prior to this, I had never stepped inside a Roman 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?

(This is my light hearted attempt to remember this event which recounts my true ignorance at the time. I mean no offense to anyone and certainly no disrespect to the Communion or Lord's Table or even the Priest as he was truly kind to me.)


Glenn B said...

If I told you the things I have seen and heard in Catholic Church and in the convent when I was a schoolboy - Oh boy...

All the best,
Glenn B

Urraca said...

I dont know how a Baptist church is and their habits & differences but being catholic myself I found your story very funny. i think I would made the same mistakes being in your shoes in your church.

Jeanne said...

Poor you... lol I was brought up in the Catholic Church but a lot of my friends were either Baptist or Pentecostal, so I totally can understand your ignorance, especially if you'd never come into contact with Catholics at all!! Ha ha.

On a more serious note, eating the Lord's body, if done unknowingly by a non-Catholic and with no intention of disrespect should in no way be considered horrible. I'm sure if you had known what it was, you wouldn't have eaten it. :) And I'm sure Jesus doesn't hold it against you ;) I guess the priests should have taken the time to explain stuff BEFORE you started cleaning??

Rita Loca said...

Dear Anonymous, you comment has been deleted for many reason. One being that it has nothing to do with this post. Secondly, it rambles and has no logic, and thirdly, you use vocabulary unnecessary and offensive.