Tuesday, May 13, 2008

College Reporter Confuses Catholic Women for Chemo Patients

Joliet, IL: A young college reporter thought he had his first break.

"I was all set to be the next Bob Woodward," University of Illinois student Matthew Swain admitted sheepishly. "Our journalism professor warned us about writing on religion--he said you can't win. This proves he's right."

Swain, a practicing Presbyterian attending Mass at St. Agatha's Parish with his girlfriend, noticed that many women in the traditional parish were wearing scarves over their heads. The next morning, he was writing a speculative piece for his blog on the high correlation between Catholic women, chemotherapy, and chemical dumps on the parish property.

The problem was, the women were wearing chapel veils.

"We're not cancer patients, at least, not most of us," argued Sarah Gostomski. "We just want to show respect for God in worship by covering our heads."

Swain thought he had covered his bases. "See, first I thought these women must be Muslim. But then I saw the crucifix, and remembered, oh yeah, my girlfriend's Catholic. Then I thought they must be nuns, but then I noticed some of them had kids, and I heard that Vatican II loosened up some things, but not that one. So obviously the next choice was that the parish was just above a chemical sinkhole causing cancer in women at an alarming rate. Any educated person would have come to the same conclusion."

When asked why he didn't inquire with his girlfriend about the head coverings, he shrunk back in horror. "Dude, I don't ask my girl about fashion. I mean, she was wearing a hat, I guess it was cute, but I didn't know what to say after that. Best just to nod and smile whenever that comes up. We just don't go there."

Fr. Anthony Bain, the pastor, was taking the unexpected parish publicity in stride: "I think the only chemical spill has been some burnt coffee. And we fixed the burner. So...come visit."



PraiseDivineMercy said...

*snicker* That's awesome...!

brandy101 said...

do YOU wear a chapel veil? Inquiring minds want to know!

PraiseDivineMercy said...

lol... Indeed IC... Do you?

I wear one, BTW.

The Ironic Catholic said...

In church? No.

I get the point though. It's about the grandeur of God, and recognizing that in a specific, concrete way. I think I would, at least occasionally, if it weren't a distraction (in my parish, it would be). I have used one in private prayer.

The Ironic Catholic said...

I have to admit, that confession is going to knock the socks off of the people who know me "off-blog"!

brandy101 said...

I agree - I admire the intent but in my very "contemporary" parish it'd be perceived as a distraction and possibly even an affront.

I do plan to take a "field trip" sometime this summer to a grand "old school" Church to attend a Tridentine high mass, and I'll stick a large silk scarf in my purse in case that's the status quo.

matthew archbold said...

that's a very funny story. I do have one question, however. Did Matt Swaim refer to himself as "educated?" I have a hard time believing that ;)

The Ironic Catholic said...

The similarity between Matthew Swain in this article and Matt Swaim, blogger, is entirely coincidental. Sorry! I'm sure Matt Swaim is better educated that this poor character.

M. Swaim said...

Slander! Calumny! I have at least a quarter of a Masters' degree from a semi-reputable marginally Catholic university!

I feel like Aslan being lampooned by Shift the Ape via Puzzle the Donkey. There will be (metaphorical) blood!

Besides, nobody can trust those Creative Minority Reporters anyway. I hear they're closet Obamaniacs.