A thought and a direction!

Yesterday I spoke with a priest friend who told me he was verbally attacked recently while wearing his clerical collar in a restaurant.  He said it was quite a frightening experience and one that made him feel very uncomfortable.  It was an experience that, with one possible exception from many years ago, I could not share with him.  That occasion was rooted in a different time but I knew I was singled out for a bit of a tongue lashing because I was dressed as a priest.

I was in Athlone today (Saturday April 9th) at the wedding reception of two friends.   Before the reception I went into a shop and made a small purchase.  I was dressed in black – suit and collar – though I had the collar opened as I quite often have (my shirts seem to have gotten small!!!!!!) and, to be honest, I’m not always that comfortable with my top button closed. 

Collar there - well sort of - quite often this is the way I turn out!!

The shop assistant was very good natured and as I turned to walk away she said “Oh, I didn’t see the bit of white until now”!  “Don’t worry about that”, I replied “it’s a sort of dangerous thing to have these days”.  “Not at all”, she said “it all depends on what you do with it”.  I smiled and so did she – “you’ve nothing to fear”, she said.

What a timely observation!  As I walked to the reception, I thought of what she said, and she’s right.  The decision isn’t whether we should wear a clerical collar or not.  The challenge is what we “do with it”. 

I’m going to think about that ……………..



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