Monday, December 10, 2018

It aint about the gingerbread

These are  St. Meinrad seminarians

St. Meinrad's seminarians put on an apparently annual show for their professors and the lay professor's children. This year they also got together and  had a decorated gingerbread house competition either before or after the show. Taylor Marshall, has objected to the sight of grown men engaging in a kindergarten activity and  and was  crude about it.

My father was a cook and I learned the fundamentals of baking and cake decorating from him. Cooking is hard work. It gets noisy and hot and profane in the professional kitchen and since it's a high stress environment, tempers can flare up. It takes a tough man to turn out hundreds of tender baked goods everyday.  Marshall mocked the gingerbread decorating but that's not the problem. Decorating a gingerbread house kit is a short cut that I wouldn't make in my kitchen but  is in itself no more effeminate than when my great uncle and his friends got together to make moonshine, or when my grandfather and his friends got together to do a hog roast fundraiser  or when my father and his friends got together after culinary school to make omelets.

 The problem is that this whole event in this day and age seems socially tone deaf.  I'm guessing that the seminarian who posted this photo  is too young to have heard the stuff that was whispered about St. Meinrad's past.  I've read multiple accounts from men who said they were seminarians there in the 80s and left in disgust, never to be ordained.  Perhaps he's unaware that the Church in America has paid out something like a billion dollars in settlements to mostly males who say they were used by priests for sexual gratification. The seminarian  who posted this photo may not have any idea how nervous parents are right now. It's not uncommon for people to ask a priest where he went to the seminary in an attempt to figure out if he's going to be trustworthy or not. They may not say anything on social media or out loud but I bet that there are people who saw this photo and who will be watching with extra critical eyes when a seminarian from St. Meinrad's shows up at their parish. The 70s and 80s are over. Things that once seemed like light-hearted fun now make people's stomachs twist and turn. You can argue all you want about whether that's fair or not but that's the way things are right now and how things will be for many years to come.  The photo of the seminarians isn't inspiring. If I was kid I would not want to follow these guys.

  St. Paul Miki and,Blessed Rolando Rivi seminarians and martyrs, pray for us.