Tuesday, February 15, 2005

"You remind me of my priest!"

For a while, I heard that regularly. In the town where I "grew up" (that's a relative term, ask my wife) there was a Catholic church. In fact, my family went to that church for many years, even after I jumped ship. About a year before my mission, my mom kept mentioning to me how the new priest reminded her of me ("Must be a handsome devil," I replied). She said he had my same manerisms, humor, speaking style, etc. and kinda looked like me, but mainly because of how he acted, not how he looked.

Then one time mom was in church, and her friend leaned over and said, "Doesn't he remind you of your son?"

I heard it from a few other people, too. The one that made me laugh, though, was the following story, as relayed to me by a girl that I had occasionally dated, we'll call her S. She was not Catholic, and was in fact Methodist (or was it Lutheran?). She took me to a church dance once, which was quite fun, and I pass the church on my way to Costco, so next time I'll have to look and see which denomination it is. Anyway, she wasn't Catholic or LDS, got it?

She had a friend who was Catholic, and was in the hospital for some reason or another. Probably an appendectomy. Stinking appendices, I speak from experience. She went to visit him in the hospital. While there, his priest stopped in. The priest is talking about this, joking about that, when S says, "You know, you remind me of a friend of mine."

Priest: "Really? He must be a good looking guy." (see? is that something I'd say or what?)

S: "Yes, he's extraordinarily good looking. (Okay, so I don't know for sure that she said those exact words, but I'll just fill that in based on assumption. Besides, it's my story. Resuming transcript:) In fact, he's Mormon."

Priest, no longer smiling: "Oh. Well, sorry to hear that."

S: "He's pretty happy about it." (Woo hoo, go S.!)

The priest changed the subject. He pulled out a crucifix, which he hung on the wall next to the patient's bed. He spoke to the patient and S about how the crucifix is a reminder of the pain and suffering of Jesus, and how when we look at it, we are reminded that we are not alone in our suffering. Then he looked at S:

Priest: "You don't have crucifixes in your church, do you?"

S: "Yeah, we do."

Priest: "I heard Mormons don't use crucifixes."**

S: "Oh, I'm not Mormon."

Priest: "You're not?!" (excitedly walks over to S, shakes her hand) "Congratulations!" (again, something I could see myself doing, given the right personality on the other end)
I found that exchange rather entertaining. On another occasion, I was on an evening walk with Anne through that part of town. As we passed the church, I mentioned that was the church I had attended for many years. Anne asked if we could go inside, so, we did. At this time, we weren't dating. She had been dating a couple of people who were now on missions, and I was, well, not dating anyone in particular. Basically, we'd hang out during the summer, and then go back to our respective universities.

We walked into the church, and just as we stepped into the church, I saw someone walking out through another set of doors. We went back out to see who it was, and it turned out to be Father Eddie (I can't remember his name), my supposed twin. He was very friendly (check) and also rather curious (check) about who we were, etc.

Father Eddie: "You guys go to church here?"

Us: "No, no. Just visiting."

Father Eddie: "Welcome! So, visiting from another town, or another church?"

Us: "Another church."

Father Eddie: "Nice to meet you. So... you two getting married?"

At this point, Anne jumps about 8 feet away from me, waving her hands around and laughing hysterically. "Oh, no!" she says. "Just friends."

Father Eddie: "Just wondering. Lots of couples come here looking at the church with plans on getting married here."
Father Eddie said we could go in, look around, but please close the door on our way out. He had just been saying his evening prayers, and was heading to bed. In all, a nice guy. He's since been transferred, and I don't know many people in that church anymore, so it's been years since I've been told of my priest twin.

** True, you will not see a cross on our church buildings or in our sanctuaries. The reason being that we believe in a Resurrected Savior, and believe that the living Christ should be the focus of our attention, and further that as we follow the scriptural admonition to "take up your cross" (3 Nephi 12:30) that our lives will become a living symbol of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Church members are not, however, prohibited from wearing crosses; many choose not to on their own because of what I (tried to) explain above.


At February 16, 2005 4:37 PM, Anonymous Sariah said...

Funny! My bishop reminds me of my dad sometimes.

I like your explanation about crucifix.

At February 17, 2005 12:09 PM, Blogger lizzy said...

Eddie, you're my kind of guy! I love your stories.


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