Thursday, November 9, 2023


Some say that I have found my true vocation in life, being a beach bum, but that is what I have become in my senior status as a priest, euphemistically called retirement.

What I have discovered is that Catholics are all over the place and everyplace.

And yes, on the beach, I have made many acquaintances and some have invited me to their home to eat! 

Yesterday, after I was complimented on my tan, an elderly woman, older than me, told me she was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school, brought her children to Mass. She is pro-life and commented on the crazy women who want abortions until and through the 9th month. She had very unkind words for them.

She said she was a good Catholic but no longer goes to Mass as she has already done that most of her life.

Another non-practicing Catholic with a heritage in Croatia, went on and on about illegal abortions and old men making laws against a woman’s reproductive rights. She complimented my tan too.

Well before I began my tanned beach ministry, in my parishes over the last 20 years, we always allowed non-Catholics to be a witness for baptism, just as long as one of the witnesses or sponsors or godparent was a practicing Catholic. But finding Catholic godparents who could prove it by a letter from their pastor that said they are registered and practicing, was a difficult thing and caused a lot of problems if we said their godparent could not act as one if they couldn’t prove their practicing. I gave up on that!

Because we are a minority in my diocese (Catholics not beach bums) most of our marriages are mixed. No problem and we don’t ask anything about witnesses for weddings, meaning best man, women or whatever.

I do believe pastoral flexility today is necessary. I don’t think it is necessary to crush more rigid Catholics and wipe out their TLM communities. That ain’t pastoral.

Just some musings of a beach bum priest.


rcg said...

You are cleared to wear Birkenstocks, too. You may find even more lapsed Catholics when they see them.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Ugh! Flip flops for me!

rcg said...

Flip flops, of course. You celebrate both NO and VO. 😉😂