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Amazing new jingles fill churches to rafters

This Space, some weeks ago, told how Milan’s Cardinal Martini had appealed for a more aggressive church approach to needy souls. An English paper suggested jingles. One thing led to another, culminating in a Jingles for Jesus contest, some results of which you are about to read. While one soul remains in peril, you’ll find Sic in there throwing fastballs not to mention an occasional slider.

* * *

This is from J. J. (not the late cardinal, he says) Kroll:

I’d like to see the world for once
All kneeling in the pews.
And hear them worship as I please
With no dissenting views.
I’m the real thing (Credo!),
Let the world pray today (Credo papam!).
A flock of sheep that follows me
And never goes astray.

Hey, no one said it would be Keats or Shelley.

* * *

There’s a prize for the best jingle, a T-shirt donated by NCR’s own John “I Left My Heart in Steubenville” Allen. The shirt is adorned by a picture of the supreme pontiff but that’s not all: There’s the papal coat of arms and Wojtylaphile inscribed on the back, or perhaps it’s the front. It’s that kind of T-shirt.

Not everyone knows that Allen’s master’s thesis was “Splendor Opifex (Splendor in the Glass, to you): Mirrors and Mirror Magic in Late Hellenistic Antiquity.” Since then Allen has moved into the camp of Bart Simpson, a true Greek tragedy, if you ask Sic.

* * *

“Here’s my jingle, designed more to empty R.C. churches than fill them,” writes Anne Heutte of Washington, who then goes on to blame some long-gone nun for her concoction, and one can soon see why:

Research will ruin the church
Research will ruin the church
--Hi-ho, the derry-O--
Research will ruin the church.
* * *
This one is from Robert N. Barger, who’s from Notre Dame University:
There was an old bishop from Lincoln
Whose episcopal demeanor was stinkin’.
Then he let Call to Action back in,
And said with a grin:
My God, what could I have been thinkin’!

If he wins, he wishes the T-shirt to go to charity, but he needn’t worry.

* * *

Mary Rivera, who writes, “Wish I was infallible, too,” adds that, “Based on research, churchgoers are healthier and live longer.” They also write longer:

Bring your children and your friends,
Get to know new people too;
Bingo, potlucks, picnics, news,
Always something more to do.

Come to church,
Come to church,
Pray with us this week;
Longer life
And good health too,
It’s the best thing you can do.
* * *

“I’m not sure whether these are jingles or not,” writes Steve McCue, “but, as you say, why should it matter?” He goes on: “I enjoy your column -- when I understand it; and when I don’t I figure it’s just as well.” This Space couldn’t agree more.

McCue offers a series of catchy whatnots:

“You’ll wonder where your sins all went when you receive the sacrament.”

“TOTAL LIQUIDATION! (Nobody gets out alive.)”

“Salvation is Job 1.”

“Papal infallibility -- like a rock.”

“Canon law … making life just a little more complicated.”

* * *

Etymologists, orthodontists and such will tell you the jingle is an American institution like mother and apple pie, but don’t believe it. Jingles, like nearly everything else, had their origins in Gregorian chant. It was, historians say, a dark and stormy night, and the monks were hungry, cold and itchy as they struggled through Matins and then Lauds and then suddenly a crazed monk jumped up, pulled a lyre from underneath his garment and began belting out that jingle about Rocky Mountain Coors -- that’s how old that beer is. Soon the monks were all jiving in the aisles and the rest is history, or something.

* * *

And the evergreen Sr. Rose Tillemans writes:

As Mass begins
We own our sins;
Why don’t we also
Claim our wins?
* * *

But seriously, the Weekly World News scooped even Sic: “Miracle Donkey Healing Sick in Jerusalem.” But that’s not all. This ass is such a thaumaturge that the experts got to work, applied the old DNA technique and discovered that “the animal is a direct descendent of the one Jesus rode.”

Space won’t allow all the jingles in one column. Sorry you wasted your time on these, which were not of a low enough standard to win. The winner and others will appear in the next Sic.

* * *

And a last word from the Kroll entry:

I’d like to hex the weaker sex,
The Bible is my guide.
No girls allowed, so I have vowed,
With Mary by my side.

I’d like to build the world a church
And furnish it with priests.
All men, of course, and none divorced --
No wives unless deceased.

National Catholic Reporter, September 3, 1999