"In the spirit of the culture of life: it's time for us to embrace the Sermon on the Mount and take it to where people live this time of year--on their manicured lawns. I hereby tell you as your pastor and your neighbor, I will not be pouring chemicals on my creeping charlie and dandelions this year. They are the midwestern 'lilies of the field' Christ exhorted us to consider in Matthew 7," wrote O'Flanagan in the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Zeitgeist.
When interviewed, an agitated O'Flanagan continued, "Look, Christ said 'SEE the lilies of the field, how they grow'. Well, how are you going to see them if you're paying someone to kill them in their place? How're they going to 'bloom where they're planted'? They're planted by the Master's hand, not mine. You use Round-Up on those cute creeping charlie flowers, that'll round you up to hell, I'm telling you."
A long-time member of St. Columba Parish, who preferred not to be named, mentioned that the parish suspected this new interest of Fr. O'Flanagan's came out of a series of complaints local neighbors have made in the neighborhood paper's letters to the editor page on the state of St. Columba's lawn, which is occasionally mowed, but full of crabgrass and wildflowers. As one letter-writer opined a week ago: "There are more dandelions on that lawn than crying babies at a Christmas mass. It's out of control."
Regardless, Fr. O'Flanagan says he refuses to be swayed. "'Unless a seed fall to the ground and die, it remains a single grain, and shall not give life.' I refuse to sterilize my lawn to satisfy the court of public opinion. We have the paschal mystery on our doorstep every day, people. I am certain we have the livliest plot of grass in Minneapolis, and I'm proud to say this is the best damn Catholic lawn in Upper Midwest."
Diocesan officials could not be reached for comment.
p.s. twittering birds prefer natural lawns....