Deaconette has in the past introduced you gentle readers to some of her sorority sisters. But you have been hanging around the sorority house for some time now, and it’s probably time that you meet the whole family. Yes? Well come in, wait, wipe your feet on the mat please. Now then, may I present Deaconette’s
- identical-but-ontologically-inferior twin blue sister Smurfette (Ma always liked me best);
- arty sister Palette;
- sister with the drinking problem Bachelorette;
- Texan food-service worker sister Charcoal Briquette;
- sisters Diskette and Cassette, together affectionately “the Obsolettes”;
- prissy sister Lorgnette;
- nutty sister Noisette;
- showoff sister Majorette;
- pregnant sister Layette;
- overweight sister Raclette;
- bitchy sister Martinet;
- sexy sister Coquette and slutty sister Nymphette (who are not to be confused with the sister who merely enjoys having her salad tossed occasionally, Vinaigrette);
- elusive sister Silhouette and black-sheep sister Oubliette;
- and Holy Mother (née holy sister) Popette, with whom you’re well acquainted already;
Pope Francis kisses a statue of baby Jesus as he leads the Christmas night Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican December 24, 2016 (AP photo)
When children are concerned, if choosing to lead the Church in a grand symbolic gesture it is wise to consider all the angles of… shall we say interpretation?
Quaeritur: I recently read about the indulgences formerly attached to being touched by the ‘penitential wand’ in Rome in the Raccolta. I’ve been trying to find more information about this practice online, all to no avail. I wonder if you could write about it? Seems like something as ‘rigid’ as this could do us well these days!
Respondio: The penitential mentula or ferula, the bocchino penitenziario, wand, or rod is encountered the world over, and not merely in Rome. It varies in length and girth, and while it is not always used in a penitential capacity, it is nevertheless not uncommonly employed in such a ritual. Since not every man can be a wizard every time.
Graffiti on the security wall, Bethlehem. Israel built a wall.
“And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people.” -Luke, 2:10
“And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.” -1 Corinthians, 13:10
“And the least of these and thus most delicate, in constant need of your attention, is hope.” Deaconette, 12:24
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light.” Garland, 1944
[Today, at the chapel of the Domus S. Stercus]
It recently came to the attention of Pope Francis that young seminarians in Rome are often admitted to studies by old men who like the young men that have a lot in common with their old man outlook, and not much in common with their peers. Benedict XVI appointed a lot of conservative bishops, and three of the four ornery Cardinals. But who am I to judge?
Quaeritur: Can the saturno be worn with a black suit, or only with a cassock?
Dicendum: Indeed it may, Fr Vincent Fitzpatrick, and Deaconette thanks Your Reverend Fatherhood for the absurdity of your delicious question. A saturno is actually proper to a black suit rather than to a cassock. There are some caveats, however, to be observed.
Quaeritur: Would we Latins be out of line in mocking our Eastern Catholic or Orthodox brothers [for their ridiculous headgear]?
Dicendum: Thank you for the question, 4P. Could there be any invented ecclesiastical role in all of Christendom more undignified than actually having to wear one of those silly hats? As unlikely as it seems, there is indeed. Behold the 4M:
The holiday season or sure, call it Advent, makes Deaconette’s life increasingly busy, and she finds herself with less time with which to address the unabating quotidian outrages from the parishioners at St. Upid Traddy Catholic Community. She will thus make this entry short and sweet, like herself.