Tell the truth. Haven’t you at least momentarily though about popping an overly officious and pushy church usher in the chops? Or maybe pulling his polyester jacket over his head — ya know like NHL style?
Well somebody went and did it.
HILLSBOROUGH — Police responded to Mary, Mother of God Roman Catholic Church on Sunday for a report of a fight in the parking lot between an usher and a parishioner after the usher told the parishioner to stop videotaping during Mass.
Now, of course most ushers are wholly interested in serving the church and do a thankless service week in and week out. I am not talking about them. But there are those other types, you know who I am talking about. The kind of ushers that buzz about the church like bouncers at a KISS concert flashing their poly-blend jackets like a US Marshall service badge — some of whom view usherdom as an excuse to pay no attention to mass. Well I know that I am not the only one who has.
Fr. Jay Toborowsky knows the type. After rightly criticizing the school play Catholics who treat their bi-annual visit as if it is the school production of South Pacific and they will be darned if they don’t get the picture they want, Fr. Jay has this to say about the usheristas.
Now, about Catholic Church ushers. For the most part, your task is about taking up the collection and handing out bulletins, and these are necessary things in the life of a parish. I also know there’s times when you get asked to do the priest’s “dirty work” (telling someone to sit down when all they want to do is stand in the back of church because they want the quick escape after Communion), and for that, I thank you. But, let me also say this: I don’t care what you do or did as a profession, putting on the blazer does not give you superpowers. It does not exempt you from sitting through Mass like everyone else. It doesn’t allow you to stand in the back of church chatting away with fellow ushers whilst Mass is going on. I have visited lots and lots of churches over the course of my years as a Catholic, a Seminarian, a Deacon and a Priest. I think there’s a lot of ushers who are going to be quite shocked when God makes the delineation for them on judgment day between the Masses they “attended” and the Masses they were merely “at”.
Now I certainly do not condone parking lot smackdowns of the overbearing, but perhaps there should be term limits.