Friday, December 29, 2017


God has given me cause to laugh.
Genesis 21:6

Television never gets it right. Priests always seem to come off these days as pious, angry or creepy. There are many very fine priests in this country who serve their people selflessly. Many are pastoring multiple parishes. Sadly, there are no made-for TV “specials” about them and their work.

In the last 16 years, I have had the opportunity to listen to hundreds and hundreds of these priests from every part of this country - and six more besides! Most of our time was spent discussing very serious issues facing us priests, but we did seem to make room for a good time. In fact, we could even laugh at ourselves.

In that vein, a few years back I started thinking about some possible new “priest shows.” It has been a while so I thought I'd re-run it. Here goes!

I LOVE LOOSEY: An outrageous comedy about two liberal young priests in the 1960s ministering in a bi-lingual southern California parish. There’s nothing they won’t change.

LAW AND ORDER: A dull and tedious police series about young “neo-con” priests on a mission to “save” the church.

FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN: Liberal and conservative priests take each other on in no-holds-barred, hand-to-hand combat. Screaming parishioners back their favorite priests and often enter the ring themselves to avenge dirty tactics.

ELIM-A-PRIEST: In an alternative to traditional Personnel Boards, parishes bid on new pastors after going out to eat with them a few times. Various priests with serious personality defects and obnoxious personal habits are “weeded out” while one single “Perfect Pastor” is hired at the conclusion of each show.

FATHER EMERIL: A cooking show featuring various “rectory cuisines” for the stressed out and overworked, twinned and clustered, parish priest. Heavy on Crock Pot, Seal-A-Meal and George Forman Grill recipes from his new cookbook, “Cooking After Your By-Pass Surgery.”

EXTREME FATHER MAKE-OVER: This new show is a wildly popular weekly series where pot-bellied, unkempt priests are nominated by their parishioners for lipo-suction, tummy tucks, Bo-Tox, unwanted hair removal and wardrobe updates. Parishioners shriek in approval when “Father-What-A-Waist” is turned into “Father-What-A-Waste.

NEO-ARCHEOLOGY: Teams of young priests dig through rectory attics and parish sacristies in search of perfectly preserved birettas, copes, cassocks, fiddle-back vestments and other “precious artifacts” of the pre-Vatican II Church, rescuing them “before its too late.”

HOME ALONE: This latest “reality show” features various priests living alone in big empty rectories on Friday and Saturday nights while playing Solitaire and “voting themselves off the island” for entertainment. Boring!

LITTLE RECTORY ON THE PRAIRIE: The Vatican, in a secret experiment, assigns a married priest to live in one of the secluded parishes of some unnamed Minnesota diocese. After giving birth to an obnoxiously sweet daughter, Laura, and almost starving to death on a priest’s salary, the Vatican decides to cancel the experiment and declares the idea of married priests “unworkable.”

GOLDEN BOYS: Four retired priests move into a condo together in some unnamed Florida diocese. This has to be one of the dullest shows to ever be put on TV! There is nothing funny about it!

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