The following comes from a May 19 LA Daily News article by David Montero:
BURBANK- The small hands were clasped together and a few gripped long white candles in a line that stretched to the Globe of Danger, three brightly-painted motorcycles and an idle fog machine.
The Rev. Jerry Hogan made some final adjustments on his red vestment adorned with cartoon giraffes, elephants and a circus ringmaster. Sister Dorothy Fabritze, in a slightly more conservative wardrobe of tan slacks and jacket, walked along the row of children and parents awaiting Catholic sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and first Holy Communion Thursday.
“Let’s focus on Jesus coming into your heart,” she said. “Are we good? Are we ready?”
They nodded. Hogan smiled. The nun took her place behind the tall red curtain.
Slowly, it opened. The stage lights streamed through the widening gap, bathing them in brightness.
Two-by-two, they entered the round stage beneath the big top. The circus stars had made this entrance thousands of times to the cheers of the crowd. But this morning, the seats were empty. This moment wasn’t for the crowds. This was for God. And for them.
“It’s showtime,” Hogan said.
Hogan is a circus priest. Lest one take offense at that moniker, it should be noted Hogan’s Twitter handle is @circuspriest. He’s also the National Circus Chaplain — part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Circus and Traveling Shows Ministry that serves about 120,000 Catholics working more than 50 circuses and nearly 400 carnivals in the United States.
His Burbank stop coincided with the Circus Vargas run that pulls up stakes Tuesday and will begin a five-day stint in Ventura beginning Thursday.
Hogan flew out from Boston to shepherd the 11 performers and their children through the three sacraments; one baptism, six first communions and four confirmations.
“It’s a three-ring circus,” Hogan said. “Isn’t it wonderful?”
I could have done without the bizarre vestment but God bless him (and sister) in this ministry.
No, No, and No!!
He’s serving where the people are. The people have a difficult life, moving every few days trying to bring us and our children a little entertainment.
It just accentuates how very oblivious some of our Shepherds are about how rapidly this society is decaying. They just keep fiddling while the society at large, along with the sheep they are supposed to be protecting, burns to ashes.
Wake Up, we don’t need vestments with lions and tigers and bears, Oh My!
Yes! Yes! Yes! Father Hogan and Sister Fabritze are ministering to and serving people who truly need the Church and to hear the Gospel. The life of a circus worker is difficult, demanding and dangerous. God Bless Father Hogan and Sister Fabritze!
i know they’re always travelling, but in this instance the circus family is in the greater los angeles area where there are untold numbers of catholic churches. wouldn’t it have been a good moment to touch base in a real church near burbank. ? something tells me that our circus friends probably shop at walmart and go to movies now and then, out from under the big top. for a while, in the 70’s and 80′ first communion received at home masses became the rage, until it was realized it was exhausing and impossible for the clergy, and it reduced the concept of church , already quite reduced in newer generations.
Circus Vargas is fabulous and entire families make it happen. All children should be babtized, catechized and confirmed with ease. This priest is doing his job. Once the children are in they remain in the Church for life. I know it was the case for me.
I want to make sure I understand this article. Our Bishops have set up a ministry to traveling shows to bring Christ to the people. The Priests goes from unit to unit baptizing, confirming, celebrating Mass, giving communion, etc. And yet, some people find a reason to find this offensive. Good grief! Another good deed that couldn’t go unpunished! We should look on this as a positive. Here is a priest serving a traveling congregation. Why punish this great effort?
Bob One, the act of having a priest minister to a travelling congregation is not the point of contention! The issue is the Holy Mass being treated as yet another form of entertainment and the sacredness of the offering is lost in the carnival atmosphere this priest fosters.
The sacrifice of the Mass should never be a “three-ring circus”, it is not “showtime”, and these congregants deserve better.
Kristin, Thank you. You have brought up the very central point. When you change and forget the sacrificial nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, expect the results that we are seeing. The Holy Mass has now been turned into a celebration of ourselves. No one wants to hear this or reflect on this. We are sinners in great need of God’s grace and mercy. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is meant to remind us and strengthen us to persevere and work out our salvation. A “gay couple with a toddler” bringing up the gifts at the Religious Ed Congress closing Mass. When you celebrate yourself for so many years then it stands to reason that you will soon be celebrating even mortal sin.
Bob One writes, “Why punish this great effort?” = Our Crucified Lord, could ask, Bob One, the very same question. Bob One, Why do you punish a good and faithful Cardinal who completely values the GREATEST EFFORT, which is My sacrificial death on a Cross. Why do you punish a faithful Cardinal who only wants souls to go to heaven to be united with Me for all Eternity?
The punishing reply of Bob One, ….”No good deed goes unpunished!”
PS Repent Bob One! It will not matter that you were selected to be on several advisory boards with bishops. Birds of the same feather, gather, on advisory boards together. A further indictment of the collective punishing of Our Lord.
Hooray! Father John Higgins bravely steps out of the circus act and crowd to show leadership when he wrote, “I see both good and “crazy” here. The vestments and the performance part of this is what I would call “wacky.” But look at the bigger picture!
Crazy is the now the new norm. Shepherds are canonizing “wackiness” and celebrating the “genius” of crafting immoral laws. Sin is now celebrated. Look at the inspiring Traditional church structure where Senator Ted Kennedy chose to have his funeral Mass. Listen to the sermon. Not even one mention of asking for prayers for Ted’s soul. A wacky missed opportunity to feed a spiritually STARVING full house.
Funeral of Ted Kennedy…. https://youtu.be/eYQgiqORZdk