Ash Wednesday Fail

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Piccirilli – a true Italian-Catholic last name.

Not for us.

In our family, we’re far from Catholic. My father grew up going to Catholic school and church, however you would never guess it with the potty mouth he has and how his moral compass is set anything but North. I grew up going to church in the United Church of Christ denomination until I was about 12 years old until soccer tournaments were taking priority over weekends and church had to sit on the back burner. I was baptized but to this day I never received confirmation.

So with that quick little religious background on myself, I ended up going to a Jesuit college – Loyola College in Maryland. Religion classes were a requirement - Theology 101 was TORTURE, but my “Women in Religion” class ended up being a great time as I got to interview a family friend for a research paper who told me her background of why she left the Catholic Church and instead started to practice as a Methodist. I won’t go into detail but WOW – the Catholic Church scared the life out of her!

Not going to church/not being raised Catholic also affected me in the place I would have least expected it to in college – on the soccer field. I will never forget my first collegiate game. Before we took the field our team stood on the sideline in a circle, arms wrapped around each other’s backs. I waited for the Seniors to say a motivational speech like I use to give in high school and as they opened their mouth in unison the team said…

“Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

Hail who? What?

It took me nearly a full season to memorize Hail Mary and I can say with confidence, just like I do with song lyrics, I made up half the words. (I actually now KNOW I did after Googling them.) I probably should have Googled that while I was in college. Oopps! But may I add, as soon as we got in our huddle on the field before taking our positions we ended that little circle gathering with "F--- em' up on three....1-2-3...F--- em' up!" Not very Catholic-like or lady-like. Man I miss my fellow Hounds...

Ok, ok so where am I going with Ash Wednesday… so being the oblivious “I have no idea what Catholics do” kid on campus, I will NEVER forget my first Ash Wednesday walking around campus.

I walked into class and I saw a kid with black crap on his forehead. (Do I say something to him or just let it go..I’ll let it go.) I go to my next class and see another kid with crap on his forehead. Seriously, what the heck is wrong with people? Should I say something?

I head back to my dorm room and my best friend Sarra comes walking in with black-stuff on her forehead.

“Dude, you have stuff on your forehead Moller.”
“It’s Ash Wednesday, you get ashes put on your forehead! All Catholics do it – it’s the start of lent.”

Long story short, it’s a good thing I didn’t tell that kid in Spanish class that he has black shit he needs to wipe off his forehead or I would have looked like a major asshole! I'm usually not good at keeping my mouth shut, but I'm happy I did that time!

For this year’s Ash Wednesday I am highly enjoying the #AshTag on Twitter.  You should check it out!

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