Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Pastoral Fun Never Stops.

Most parish priests will tell you that they have learned to do things they were never taught in the seminary. Accounting, plumbing, electrical work are just a few things that come to mind. Even more esoteric disciplines can be added, like snake-wrangling.

My parish is right next to the Wasatch Mountains and we get visited by lots of wildlife. I have had deer and elk in the backyard. (BTW, the bulldogs aren't fond of elk.) A couple of years ago, there were pheasants nesting here. We also have lizards and snakes. Usually, the snakes are of the harmless varieties; garter snakes, blow snakes, king snakes, and gopher snakes. However, sometimes a rattler will make an appearance and once we even had a coral snake.

Today, we had a visit from a little gopher snake. After the 9:30 am Mass, I was in the social hall mainlining my second cup of coffee when one of the kids came up to me and said, "Father, there is a snake in the restroom." (I had to strangle my inner smart-ass who wanted to ask if it was a brown snake and tell him to just flush it.) "A real snake?" I asked. He assured me it was; so I went to see. It was a two foot long gopher snake, who no doubt thought he had moved into the snake Ritz. Using a broom handle, I gently nudge the little guy out of the men's room, down the hall, and out the door, acquiring a crowd of onlookers as I went along. The last I saw him, he was happily ensconced in the garden waiting for a bug or mouse to eat.

Many are the talents required for the pastoral life.
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