Ten Signs that You are a Catholic of "A Certain Age"

1.  While saying the Rosary, your mind wanders and you get mixed up counting the prayers on the beads.  You say an extra Hail Mary at the end of the decade, just to make sure you got all ten of them in.

2.  You once told a priest what you thought was a pretty big sin in the confessional and were both relieved and surprised when he only gave you a penance of five Our Fathers and didn’t tell you that you were going to burn in hell for what you did, which is what your mother said when she caught you at it.

3.  You still have your old First Communion picture but you never show it to anyone because people laugh at it.

4.  You express exasperation by raising your eyes and hands to the ceiling and making the Sign of the Cross.  If you are Italian, you accompany this by saying, “Madonna Mia!”

5.  You bring your dog to the blessing of the animals on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and pray that he'll behave (the dog, not St. Francis).

6.  You have a go-to saint for just about anything:  St. Francis of Assisi for your pet(s); St. Anthony of Padua for finding lost items; St. Jude for impossible cases; etc.  You carry little prayer cards around in case you have a sudden urgent need for help from a heavenly specialist.

7.  You had a little glow-in-the-dark angel statue in your bedroom when you were a kid, and another little statue of the Infant of Prague.  You prayed to your guardian angel every night before getting into bed, and you gave your guardian angel a name.  (Mine was "Nina.")

8.  You can still remember, word for word, some of the questions and answers from the Baltimore Catechism.

9.  You can sing “O Salutaris Hostia,” “Tantum Ergo,” “Ave Verum Corpus,” “Panis Angelicus” and an entire Gregorian mass in flawless Latin, but you have a sketchy idea, at best, of what the words mean.

10. You still wonder if the nuns who taught you in school had to shave their heads.

And she's really tired of being asked that question.


Have you ever thought about opera and wondered if it could actually be entertaining?


Well, if you want some good laughs at the art of opera and the world of the people who perform it, there is my new book, Opera for People Who Don't Like It.


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