There is an old Flip Wilson comedy bit about the pastor who noticed that the collection plate was rather low and proceeded to tell the congregation that in order to be a Church, a Church first needed to crawl.
“Let it crawl, Rev! Let it crawl!” shouted the congregants.
“And then,” the Reverend continued, “a Church needs to walk!”
“Let it walk, Rev!” yelled the people in the pews. “Let it walk!!!”
“And my brothers and sisters,” the minister said, his voice growing,” after this Church walks, it needs to run!!!”
“Let it run, Rev! Let it run!” shouted the congregants, matching the pastor’s volume.
Now the Reverend was leaning forward, the veins in his face bulging, “And for this Church to run, it’s gotta have MONEY!!!”
“Let it crawl, Rev! Let it crawl!”
These uneasy and uncertain time in which we live has wreaked absolute havoc on our personal lives and our economy. A large number of businesses have closed, people are out of work, and more than ten million people have applied for unemployment.
Our churches are not exempted from this financial uncertainty. We all have been benefitting from on-line worship either through EWTN or our own parishes streaming worship, but those collection baskets cannot come through the television or computer screens. And while when it comes to church, we are fond of saying, “It is not about money,” it really is about money. Past D.C. President George Rogers reports that some collections in his archdiocese are down seventy percent. Those collections keep the lights on and the water running, pay the salaries of those workers who assist the clergy in their ministry, and—perhaps most importantly—assist those who are less fortunate and rely on parishes for significant support.
Brother Rogers is right to call upon the great generosity of the members of our Ancient Order to step up and encourage one another and the people who would be in the pews to continue being generous and donating to their parishes as usual. A check in an envelope into the post office may seem archaic, but we actually still consider that an effective method. For those who want to be more in the 21st Century, then Brother Rogers has suggested www.faithdirect.net/church-staff/ as a method of contributing to your parishes.
Some of our fellow Hibernian Brothers are not in position to contribute at this time. Some of our brothers, though, can certainly pick up the slack if needed. Brother Rogers has rightfully pointed out that this Ancient Order was founded to protect our churches and clergy. This is but one manner in which we Hibernians can make sure the churches and our clergy can continue serving and come out of this ready to serve in person, and I am both pleased and proud to forward these helpful suggestions and appropriate exhortations to all the Brotherhood to “let it run!”.