I didn’t grow up going to Catholic School. I went to public school like almost everybody else in my town. However I did hear stories, and they never sounded fun.
I’m now in my third year living in Rome and studying at a Pontifical University. I’ve come to find that while American Catholic grammar & high schools may have been scary for some, this school is rather fantastic and I find the faculty and staff warm, friendly, brilliant, and fun.
However none of that came to mind when a Dominican Nun took me by the shoulder and said, “Can I talk to you?”
In an instant I felt like I was 7, 12, or 16, and in serious trouble. Not only was this Sister a professor, but also the Vice Dean of my department. In 2 seconds all I could think was, “What did I do? Did she read my blogs? Is the Bishop offended at having a loud mouth rock n roller in the Theology Dept? Are the ‘Men In Black’ angry with me? Maybe they are sick of me dressing like I do, talking like I do, or asking the questions that I ask. Maybe students have complained that I’m not clean cut, that I wear bell bottoms, wear leather to church. Maybe some third world nun is afraid of the tall guy with long blue black hair and eyeliner, earnings, and loud voice.”
All of that chatter in my head, in 2 seconds.
So I looked at her, and with calm I simply smiled and asked, “What can I do for you?”
She informed me that the University had chosen me to represent our school on a radio show. Not just any radio show, but a show run by some of the most conservative, intense Catholics in the United States. These people are responsible for a book that highlights a minority of Catholic Universities for being excellent in academics and faithful to the leadership of the Holy See. There are 244 Catholic higher education degree-granting institutions in the United States, and I think their book favors 24, including mine (although mine is in Rome). I would imagine that having our university listed in this publication is a rather prestigious matter.
I was not in trouble, I was being handed an honor.
My school is unafraid to send me as a spokesman for our institution. They’re proud to have the outlier stand for the orthodox.
Don’t ask me to explain it. All I know is that it that this place never ceases to amaze me.
Anyway, just thought I’d share that with you all.
You never know what great news is right around the corner, or which nun is going to tell you about it.