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By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 28, 2007

Pallottine priest Fr. Greg Serwa is Stripes the Clown. And Stripes the Clown provides the cover-story for the Milwaukee Catholic Herald's special Vocations Supplement.

"It's interesting being a clown because people don't know who you are necessarily," said Fr. Serwa, who continues to clown at parish festivals. "The same can be said in some ways for priests. You wear a uniform and people identify with that uniform. It can keep people away or invite people in. As a priest, you're always dealing with things that are important to people's lives. You have to be real gentle with people. The same can be said for clowning; little kids can be quite frightened of clowns."

The little kids, in this case, have reason on their side.

Putting aside the fact that many people are creeped out by clowns, it's hard to see the point of foregrounding this kind of story as part of vocation promotion. Vocational instability is a huge problem today -- not exclusively in the priesthood, true, but notoriously so therein. Why lead with an image that is not only equivocal as to adulthood, but suggests vocational straddling? Why not feature a man who finds the spiritual satisfactions of his priestly life -- not in social work or dance or twisting balloons into animal shapes -- but in sacramental ministry? After all, do we want to entice into the priesthood the kind of 22-year-old male that would be attracted by Stripes?

[tip to Terrence Berres]

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  • Posted by: Ken - May. 22, 2010 9:44 AM ET USA

    Amen, singer.

  • Posted by: garedawg - May. 21, 2010 7:52 PM ET USA

    The unfortunate woman was 45 years old - probably the youngest, by far, of those women who have attempted ordination.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - May. 21, 2010 5:44 PM ET USA

    Both headlines from the seculars are absurd. It's amazing how the pc crowd wants to claim for itself the power to validate ordinations as if they care about such things. This is another example of a press corrupted by anti-Catholic bigotry venting it's rage. In reading these things play Handel's aria from Messiah: Why do the nations so furiously rage together ...?

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2010 1:20 PM ET USA

    May the Lord have mercy on her soul. And should she be granted that mercy, let us pray that 'she' can now pray for all those who deceive themselves and others in the Church.