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Roused reader writes ode to Mother Angelica

Just to clear the air: Sic has never, ever used the White House to solicit either soft money or hard money for the Democratic National Committee.

* * *
Mother Angelica’s full of ire
Because, like the pope, she can never retire.
And just like Sic and the Polish pope, too,
All that she says is infallibly true.
In fact, if these three be put to the test,
In matters dogmatic, now Mother knows best.
* * *

When, some months ago, Sic expressed admiration for Mother Angelica’s holy jocularity and recommended an amazing fan club in her honor, few saluted. But now come the lines quoted above -- to be sung to the tune of “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name,” one of the few vernaculars allowed at Angelica’s televised Masses.

* * *

The Mother A aficionado, naturally, wishes to join the Amazing Big Sic Mother Angelica Fan Club, and has written a rambling theme song that also includes:

“... Recently Mother’s been in quite a snit,
Because at priests’ sides now wee altar girls sit.
This, she swore, she would never abide,
’Til John Paul declared they could never preside.
Now she’s happy and filled with glee;
A big blow’s been struck to inclusivity!

(Where else can the average Catholic get good stuff like this?)

* * *

Sic has always been puzzled at Democrats’ inability to match Republicans in the key areas of greed and corruption. They’re forever getting caught. Imagine the indignity of having Republicans, of all people, tell you what you need is a special prosecutor.

You know where Al Gore went wrong with those phone solicitations? He should have asked every third donor to send the donation to the Republican National Committee.

* * *

In response to our story of alleged sins by the YMCA (the athletes foot gambit), Charlotte Arendt writes from Neenah about the very obedient Catholic whose pastor wouldn’t let him contribute to the new local Y facility. But, added the pastor, it would be fine to contribute to the removal of the old one.

* * *

Wrote M.J. Lyon from Basking Ridge: “What hope is there for moi? I have an MA in theology and am working at the front desk of a corporate hotel. Go figure.”

* * *

Sic figures a corporate hotel is a great place for an MA in theology. Heck, a quick look at NCR’s Summer or Winter Listings will quickly reveal that more theology is done at U.S. hotels than anywhere outside Cardinal Ratzinger’s personal chambers.

You read it here first -- theologians will come traipsing from dusty ivory towers and ancient cobweb-clotted cloisters, the theological ramparts of yore, like bats from old belfries, supplicants dragging their tomes behind them and searching for good hotels with state-of-the-art front desks where real people might be contacted, with real ups and downs and existential relevance, who then might offer the careerist bureaucratic theologians one more chance to look the old whimpering, wheezing but still alive world in the eye and a last chance at being theologians of the same stripe as Jesus Christ.

* * *

Meanwhile, sitting at that front desk, Lyon puzzles over life’s conundrums, some of which were sent to This Space:

Is it possible to be totally partial?
What’s another word for thesaurus?
Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
How do you know when it’s time to tune your bagpipes?
Is it true that cannibals don’t eat clowns because they taste funny?
Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?
What is the speed of dark?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
* * *

The Mother A aficionado, who prefers to be known simply as Harry Tick (“get it?” he asks coyly), concludes with a rousing stanza:

Mother has friends in some very high places;
The pope and his eminence bask in his graces.
Yes, all of us know that they’ve really arrived,
When we see them on “Mother Angelica Live.”
Hickey, O’Connor and Law and Chaput,
Keeler, the pontiff and Ratzinger, too!
Hickey, O’Connor and Law and Chaput,
Keeler, the pontiff and Ratzinger too!
* * *

Sic was particularly struck by the triumphal repetition of the last two lines. The author, who could have settled merely for another fine paean to the greatness of Mother A, her charming mixture of steely resolve and jocular shenanigans, pauses instead for a moment on the edge of greatness, then with a torrent of emotion repeats the two lines of good stuff and thus raises Angelica to new heights by placing her twice-securely in the ranks of the great churchmen of our time.

So, raise your glass, gentle reader, wherever you are, and sing: Hickey, O’Connor and ...

National Catholic Reporter, October 10, 1997