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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dateline: Author Appearances & Readings

At the Rosenbach Museum on Bloomsday, June 16, I will join 75 other Philadelphians and read a section from Ulysses. This particular section is the rather long Corny Kelleher Dialogs with Bloom, the Horse, Stephen and Rudy. I will act out all parts. Stay tuned.

In September, Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk is planning a Pretzel Park outdoor reading and Q and A from my book, Manayunk, on the Spiral Bookstore Best Seller List for the last few years.

Recorded 4 Rainbow Minute history readings for The Rainbow Minute, WRIR 97.3fm in Richmond, Virginia. Air time to be announced. Judd Proctor recorded these sessions in Center City for broadcast sometime in June.

Published Letter to the Editor in The Catholic Standard & Times this week:

To the Editor:

I attended a wedding Mass at this beautiful church about a month ago. It was my first time in Nativity and the architecture and interior design of the church seemed to promise an equally beautiful ceremony. As a side note, it was good to see that the "remodeling" frenzy that followed Vatican II did not harm Nativity in any way.

While the church was beautiful, I was disappointed in the quality of the Mass at this particular wedding. Before Mass, people stood and talked--in fact, they talked quite loudly--all over the church. Initially there was a tendency to whisper but this soon gave way to reception-like voices, and even laughter. Gone was the traditional quiet one used to expect (before Mass) in Catholic churches. The experience was like sitting in a cafeteria and watching old friends say hello to one another after slapping each other on the back.

The pastor should address this problem in one of his sermons in the future. There was plenty of time to chat and "get down" after the Mass.

Another disappointing thing about the Mass, was the homily. The priest, rather than using the pulpit to speak, stood in front of the couple and talked to them like he was chatting them up in a bar. He kept saying, "Wow, they met in Barnaby's, wow, isn't God great, wow, oh wow!"

I lost count of the "wow's" after a while, but the people around me in the pews--they were traditionalist Catholics--seemed to be visibly wincing as well. The off the cuff homily was pure stream of consciousness bar talk. The only thing missing was a high five and a baseball cap.

One expects something more formal at a wedding. A litany of WOW's might be okay at the reception, but we don't need to hear this very dumbed down and condescending talk in the middle of Mass.


Thom Nickels

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