Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Uh... Sir?

Just before leaving for Rome, I was running a number of errands in just a short while. Even yet, I cannot not notice others taking particular notice of me - because of the clerics, and maybe my age. I was surprised by the various reactions.

At a gas station, the worker stared at me as I went back to the refrigerated section to grab a bottle of water, then as I approached the counter and paid for the gas and my water.

Getting a haircut, the barber danced around the fact that she didn't know anything about Catholicism. This was especially evident when she asked if I had a wife.

Stopping by the drug store, one very gracious woman helped me at the counter and casually began speaking about SPS. She addressed me politely and appropriately, and eventually revealed, "I read the blog pretty regularly." I was a bit surprised, to be honest, but heartened. (A thank you is in order to our faithful readers, especially my assistant at the counter: J.)

Then, we traveled to Rome and there, everyone is so used to priests and clerics that everywhere I went, almost everyone would address me as "Padre," "Father." Sure, there were some over there who would stare a bit, but I think most of these were probably tourists. The Romans themselves seem to be very familiar with clerics and have no qualms interacting with them.

But, now I'm back to the States, back to awkward looks, blank stares, double- or triple-glances, sometimes the address of familiarity with priests. Whereas in Rome, they knew (at least generally) to address you as "Padre," now it's back to "Uh... Sir?"

It's good to be home. It's good to be constantly reminded that there's plenty of work to do.

In an act as simple as donning my clerics, the work is already begun.