“Hey Padre, gimme some of them ashes”

As I think about Ash Wednesday and take a break from smudging hundreds of foreheads, my trip to the Henry James that day still stands as one of the great spiritual encounters of my priestly life.
Thanks for your patience. I’ll be back with a new post next week.

So This Priest Walks Into a Bar...

It was Ash Wednesday and it also happened to be my sexton’s birthday.  So after the noonday service he and I walked two blocks down to my favorite local lunch spot, The Henry James Saloon .  Needless to say, I was still in my full clerical garb complete with a big smudge of ash on my own forehead from the service.  So we are sitting there me with my Yuengling Lager  (a Philadelphia staple) and him with his Bud (may God forgive him).  Across from us are four women, obviously there on their lunch break as well.  Anyway, there we are, chatting and suddenly one of the women calls out, “Hey Padre… Padre.”  Needless to say I quickly knew she was talking to me (When one is wearing clerics it doesn’t take long to realize that you attract a lot more attention from strangers than if you were in civilian…

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