Today found us gathered at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver for our morning of reflection. I admit, Brad Watkins has an excellent bishop, as his ordinary (Bishop Burbige) gave the morning address and really challenged us to embrace the call that we have received from Christ as Vocation Directors, an even more specialized version of our call as priests.
Well, to prove that no good morning goes unpunished, there was a select group of us that selected for the Red Rock Park/Brewery Tour Excursion this afternoon. For those from outside the greater Denver area, Red Rock Park is either a state or city park where they have turned a natural ampitheater into a pretty impressive outdoor performance hall, which so was dominate in the national awards for the journal that the award was name for the arena!
Well, after sending a short and pithy email with a pic from the phone to someone back in Ohio who was stuck in work, (this was from my kind and gentle side), we headed back into Denver for a short tour and sampling of 'Great Divide's product sampling.
Great Divide is one of many micro-brews in the area, as our planned trip to Coor's fell through. (I have so far failed to see the drawback in this plan.....) Well, let me paint this picture for you:
35 priests walk into a bar (What is this, some kind of joke?!?!?!) Great Divide has a wonderful selection of great beers, so we all proceed to sample a few. (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!!!) Their 'St. Brigid Porter' is not to be missed, commemorating St. Brigid's unique and unparalleled ability to turn water into BEER! I, however, because of my anti-Irish sensibilities (ganz Deutsch, bin ich) turned rather to the Double IPA, WOW, what a nice selection.
The humor of tonight's story, not that there were not already many laughs, came as one of the last of our brothers ordered his selection. Well, as we were heading on a Brewery Tour, most of us 'went civy' and replaced clerical attire with regular clothes. Our brother from New Orleans was less fashion conscious, and stayed in clerical attire. Remember, he was nearly the last of 35 to order his beer selection, and the waitress responds: 'Oh, I couldn't take money from a priest!'
HUH?!?!?! She had just taken money from 30 some priests!!!!!! I guess you win some, you lose some. Bummer
Her story as to why she wouldn't take money from (one who was dress as a) priest was interesting. She confessed (Theresa being her name) that she had recently finished the pilgrimage to Compestelo in Spain. And not the short version, either, but rather started somewhere near Paris and walked all the way to the western tip of the Iberian Penisula. Hmm, never know who you are gonna meet.
Luckily, Father Christman (DoV of Denver) was with us and could direct her to a good parish here in the home office.
The moral of the story, never be afraid to witness to your Catholic faith, even if it requires taking a big leap of faith, 'natch.
One more day of conference tomorrow, with a very early start!