The Liturgy of Laughter

Our news team met with Opa the storyteller recently at Murrells Inlet.

“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”

— Eccl 1:9 (NRSV)

SOUTH STRAND SC (CR News) — An old storyteller, said to have spent too much time in the salt air and sun along the Grand Strand, had an idea recently. Since his idea caused such a stir in the coastal Catholic communities, we decided to dispatch a news crew to find this man people are calling “Opa.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE] Our news team was tasked to get to the bottom of the swirling rumors most of you have already heard by now. Supposedly, Opa was going to publicly embarrass the Church by telling Catholic jokes.

The crew met Opa at a seafood restaurant on the south side of Murrells Inlet. This particular place has a million dollar view of the Inlet. The seafood isn’t bad either.

Because he’s a storyteller by trade, Opa didn’t need a lot of encouragement to start talking.

“My stories are all true,” he began. “At least, they start out that way. Sometimes I do add elements that could’ve been or might’ve been true to make the story more interesting. But that’s what storytellers do.”

“The Catholic Church has been around for 2000 years,” Opa reminded us. “Jesus started it, and Satan’s been trying to tamper with her ever since. That’s serious stuff for priests, but it’s a great combination for humor for storytellers,” he added.

Opa paused. He looked out across the marsh at the stilted houses on Garden City Beach, studying them as if he were trying to understand some great mystery beyond the waters. And just as suddenly, his attention was back with us.

“I suppose the controversy started when I began cataloguing old, Catholic jokes,” he explained. “I didn’t write any of them, of course.” Opa added. “Nobody knows who actually wrote most of them. They’ve been around a long time. They’re still around. And they’re still funny. They’ve stood the test of time.”

“Here’s the real scoop,” the old storyteller continued. “It’s all happening because of a priest down the street at St. Michaels. His name is Fr. Ed. He’s a good storyteller and a really funny guy!”

Opa explained that after attending mass there and hearing one of Fr. Ed’s humorous homilies, he witnessed how a Catholic priest could capture the attention of people with humor and connect them to the Gospel. The old storyteller knew it was time for him to pay more attention to Catholic humor too!

“I’ll bet most of the jokes I’ve collected were actually written by priests just like Fr. Ed,” he said. “They were written for homilies, and got repeated by people after mass. That’s why nobody remembers who wrote them.”

“Priests can be really funny guys! They will do almost anything to help a person become holy so they can some day pass through the gates of heaven (Rev 21:27) that Jesus opened for us with His Passion.”

He paused again and then smiled, “But still, whoever wrote all those Catholic jokes had way too much time on their hands!”

“You know,” the old man reflected, “I probably shouldn’t say this but, with the possible exception of Jewish humor, there’s nothing out there that compares with Catholic humor. Catholics are a special kind of people!”

We all got a good laugh from that. Opa told us that his new story series would be called, “The Liturgy of Laughter.” He also promised to let Catholic Roads publish them on our website.

So to get to the bottom of the rumors — yes, there is an old storyteller roaming the Grand Strand. Yes, he plans to start telling a bunch of old, Catholic jokes soon. And no, he doesn’t care if non-Catholics laugh at those Catholic jokes. But what hasn’t hit the news so far, however, is that this whole controversy actually started with a Catholic priest on the Grand Strand telling Catholic jokes in his homilies.

Anyway, if you want to hear some of the Catholic jokes, we’ll have them here on the Catholic Roads website soon. We’ll let you know they’re here if you’re FOLLOWING this blog. So FOLLOW us now while you’re here today.

That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it. It’s cool to be Catholic (and it’s pretty funny sometimes too). COOL2B!

Vivat Jesus!

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