Have you ever seen Sister Act? Ha, look who I’m talking to. Of course you’ve seen Sister Act. Do you, as a huge fan of Sister Act, remember the scenes in which the sounds of Sister Mary Clarence’s revamped choir lure in unbelievers from the outside and call them to worship? The success Mary Clarence has in making the Catholic church “cool” to outsiders is one of the film’s more substantial narrative arcs.
Her efforts were so successful, that the Pope—yes, that Pope—came to watch Mary Clarence, Mary Patrick, Mary Lazarus, Mary Robert, and all the other Marys praise His name with Christ-centric rewrites of their favorite oldies. Then they raised enough money to renovate the church, the nuns found greater happiness, Harvey Keitel was caught, and Mary Clarence was allowed to be Deloris Van Cartier once again. But, like I said, you remember all that.
Now, what would do if I told you Sister Act is a lie—and that, in the real world, the Catholic church wants nothing to do with anything remotely resembling fun? Would you cry? Would you call me a liar? Would you say, “Bobby, baby, we knew.”
Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s the truth, and the sad tale of a hoverboard-riding Catholic priest from the Philippines is proof. NBC reports that after singing a hymn to his parishioners while rolling around on two wheels, the unidentified priest was “yanked from his church in metro Manila and ‘will spend some time to reflect on this past event.’”
In a statement, the archdiocese wrote:
“That was wrong. It is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of people...The priest said that it was a wake-up call for him. He acknowledged that his action was not right and promised that it will not happen again.”
Though he may have “drawn the ire of the Diocese of San Pablo,” he has received my utmost respect for bringing a little creativity and joy to his work. I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go. There isn’t an ocean too deep, a mountain so high it can keep, keep me away.
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