39.             Carpool Karaoke with the Local Diocese’s Bishop

My meeting with the Education Dean was on April 26, 2017. Beforehand, when waiting outside of her office, I noticed, on a table, a three-month-old copy of the Trenton Monitor newspaper (from January 26). Leafing through it, you could image my surprise when I discovered, therein, an article about the local bishop, His Excellency David M. O’Connell, making a YouTube-posted, carpool-karaoke video about himself, another priest, and a friar having a “dancing in their seats,” raucous sing-a-long while driving!

I considered it a little miracle that someone had left that particular, old newspaper (no other Monitors were around). I thought it miraculous because, via that piece about Bishop O’Connell, I recognized the following: any investigation by the Catholic Church into the miraculous nature of the message from the Virgin Mary would go to the head of the local diocese. Therefore, such an inquiry—which would contain details about the boogying SUV driver whom I had chased after I had perceived the Virgin’s message—would fall into the lap of this carpool-karaoke-crazed bishop! Moreover, after reading the article, I wondered how culpable was that wild, SUV-driving student considering her theological role model. That I pondered because this bishop had made that video to influence youths at a Catholic conference(!) that took place well before Passover. Therefore, had that SUV driver seen the video, and to some degree, fallen under its influence?

A poem:

 “Safety First” Is True Worship of Jesus

Fun, fun, fun! Who does not want to have fun?

The Jesus-loving one does not want fun

were such a fun to become cumbersome

and lead to someone’s becoming undone!

Since God is eternal, Jesus’ fun

is without regret: safe in the long run!

Earlier this very day (which, here, means the day that I am writing this segment about the carpool-karaoke-crazed Bishop of Trenton, NJ), I saw, in Brooklyn, a father leaving his home with his young daughter of about five. When the father exited, he ascended stairs; and, he did so while carrying a full cup of water in one hand, and in the other, a girl’s bicycle. When I saw him, I thought that he was unsafely juggling too much.

As it happened, a male acquaintance of mine sat beside that house; and, I stopped and chatted. Then, we heard a sudden, loud thud! Turning, we saw that the girl, now on her bicycle, had, against the side of a minivan. dropped a scooter that she had been holding in one hand. Then, hurriedly, the father checked for damage. Going over myself, I sweetly told the little girl that the reason why she had dropped the scooter (which, she remarked, she was goodheartedly bringing to her friend who had left it outside her home): she was doing too many things at once. After all, how could she safely ride her bike and simultaneously carry the scooter? She understood, and the father thanked me for my words relayed very gently.

Then, speaking to the father privately, I told him that I, when he earlier had come out of his house and went up the stairs, had noticed him carrying both a full cup of water and a bike. Therefore, I said, the reason why his little girl did too much at once was because he, her role model, did the same.

The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today. [This is often paraphrased, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”]

St. Francis of Assisi





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