Faith in Action

Men of Christ take on The Pope and the Witch

One of the tenets of modernity is that art is supposed to be challenging. It is supposed to shock us an make us look at things in a new way… or something like that. I think that is a bunch of hooey actually. But it is hooey that is often used to allow the most pedantic, anti-religious, screeds imaginable get a firm voice in the public forum as long as they are directed against Christians and especially if they are aimed at the Catholic Church. This time the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities gets to display its incredible cultural sensitivity with a blasphemous play entitled The Pope and the Witch . “Tolerance” at its finest. At any rate, I am glad they got to put on their little play since it became the catalyst for a little bit of political action staring some very worthy men.

I wouldn’t care at all to see the play, but the play outside the play must have been worth watching. After reading about the topic on Open Book I clicked to Cathy_of_Alex at The Recovering Dissident Catholic to read her comments.

Drifting on the wind on this snowy evening, I thought I heard “O Sanctissima”. Huh? I rounded the corner and there’s a whole big crowd of 70-80 people in front of Rarig. Mostly men. 2 of them in surplices and holding a banner: “Men of Christ”, with the insignia of St. John Vianney, the college seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

I finally noticeed that the 4 young men who parked next to me had pullovers with the word Vianney on their right sleeves. We all moved in to support the crowd. They were really well organized. They had laminated sheets with the words to their hymns. They were reciting the Sorrowful Mysteries and alternating with hymns: “O Sanctissima”, “Immaculate Mary” I was so overcome I can’t still can’t remember what else. It doesn’t matter. The future of our priesthood was there and well represented. Men of Christ, indeed. 

The good men of Saint John Vianney College Seminary had come out in force. As Amy of Open Book pointed out Father William Baer of Saint John Vianney College Seminary’s comment on Stella Borealis:

Do we want Catholic men to sing? Give them a chance to fight for Christ, give them a chance to celebrate our victory in Christ, and then give them chants and anthems, ancient and new, whose words and melodies and spirit befit an unconquerable band of brothers in Christ.

Adoro te Devote picks up the tale with these comments


Just a few short moments after the police officer left, the Cavalry from SJV arrived and set up shop, so we crossed the street to join them. They held their banner, and let me tell you, these guys are HARD CORE! They wore cassocks and surplices, but no coats, not hats, no gloves. They stood with their banner and we all grouped behind them, now on the gathering area in front of the theatre.

It was beautiful; I have never before been surrounded so completely by male voices singing with such dedication and resonance. Usually, in church, in choirs, most of the singers are women, but tonight was different. We female voices added to the prayers and to the songs as a compliment, rounding out the tones raised in glory to God.

The prayers were powerful, they were bold, and above all, they were peaceful.

We stood out in that cold, shivering, protesting, and showing the world that we, as Catholics, have a living, vibrant faith that will not be quashed by the intentional misconstrual of our beliefs. By our prayers for the Pope, we displayed our solidarity to the Vicar of Christ, while behind our backs the Pontiff was being mocked in full theatrical glory to the amusement of those worshipping at the altar of secularity.

By the end, my fingers were so numb I could barely move them over the beads of my rosary and I thought my toes had been lost. Many were shivering, shuffling, but no one faltered, no one stopped, no one gave up.


I am glad to see these young people out there entering the fray. God bless each of you.


Hooray… even more blogs are picking up this story including one of my favorites:

Happy Catholic  — “It’s bad enough those folks outside are praying for me!”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s