New York, NY: First there was NaNoWriMo.
Then there was NaBloPoMo.
Now, the ultimate test: November has been declared as NaPraGoMo, or National Praying to God Month, by the Serra Club of St. Alphonsus Church in Greenwich Village.
Club president Alexis DiManto explained the new promotion: "We know that November is a month where Catholics pray for the dead, especially those in Purgatory. And everyone we knew was doing one of these projects, writing the great American novel or blogging the month away. So why not? You can pray for the dead, pray for vocations, pray for healing, pray for peace, pray through meditation, pray through the rosary, pray through adoration, pray through singing. Heck, you can pray for your novel or blog. All we're saying is: pray to God every day for 15 minutes. It's kind of like a novena, multiplied by three, plus three for good measure. Nice trinitarian motif, huh?"
According to St. Alphonsus' website, there are four official rules to NaPraGoMo:
1. Pray to God.
2. Pray for 15 minutes more a day than you do right now.
3. No cheating prayers, like taking the Lord's name in vain and saying afterward "That was a prayer! I swear it! I mean, I mean it!"
4. No philosophical rationalizations, like "Well, time doesn't really exist anyway in God's kingdom, so that prayer I said last year if still working for me."
DiManto encouraged fellow parishioners to take the plunge and do the spiritual discipline. "There's only a one in a million chance that a novel will change the world. There's only a one in two million chance a blog will change the world. There's a one in one chance that daily prayer will change the world. Come join us."
Most parishioners have responded positively (as one anonymous person mentioned, "this is convenient, since the TV writers are on strike anyway"), but there have been dissenters. Mrs. Millie Day, a longtime parishioner, said "Well, the thought is nice, but I'll consider praying every day when they name it something that doesn't sound like my one year old grandson after stuffing his face with Halloween candy."
p.s. check out the real, non-Ironic NaPraGoMo if you wish!