Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Some thank-you's deserve paper.

I used to think brave, wise people didn't need thank-you letters because surely they knew how wonderful they were and didn't need strangers to tell them, and besides, they probably heard it all the time anyway.
Somewhere along the line I realized that isn't necessarily true, or, even if it is, it still does my little heart good to say "thank you."
So I added to my List of Things to Do, "write thank-you letters to strangers who inspire you."

This morning I wrote a thank-you to Father Michael Tegeder. Articles about him keep turning up next to articles about bink's DVD to ART project.
So far, he's the only priest in town with the guts to speak up publicly for love and sanity re committed same-sex relationships:
" 'This man is leading us in the wrong direction,' on this issue, [Tegeder] said of [archbp] Nienstedt. 'We have to call it for what it is – it's bullying behavior. It's not the work of Jesus Christ.
It's not the work of Jesus Christ.' "
--from "Minn. pastor challenges Nienstedt's DVD campaign," in yesterday's (10-5-10) National Catholic Reporter

This is my letter:
"Dear Father Tegeder,

"My name is Fresca D. I'm a good friend of Lucinda Naylor, who is collecting the archbp's DVDs to turn into art. Alongside FB updates about her, I always see links to articles about you, and I want to write––on paper!––to say thank you for your wonderful words of scripture, church teaching, and Lake Woebegone common sense. So:

"It almost seems silly to thank a priest for being "brave" enough to quote scripture and a cardinal who writes catechism [the cardinal archp of Vienna, who calls for the church to revise its views of committed same-sex relationships], but since you're the only one I see doing so (in public), I guess that makes you a blooming hero. And again, I say thank you.

"As for me, a few years ago (2002-2003), I worked part-time as sacristan at the Basilica. I always say it was like working in my favorite restaurant and discovering how the sausage is made. I left in great distress––took my name off the rolls and everything ( :( = no DVD), but I'm glad I know the political inner workings of the church---makes it easier to discern which bits are Christ and which are gristle, or, as you say, bullying--and it also teaches one to protect oneself (as you also advise), and what issues are worth squawking about. Turning gay people who want to get married (want to, for heaven's sake) into sausage is certainly one of those issues.

"Thank you for your good work.


ArtSparker said...

I think you may have coined a new metaphor.

Fresca said...

"the difference between Christ and gristle"?
I like that.

(The sausage metaphor isn't mine, of course.)

bink said...

Thanks for thanking Fr. Tegeder... he's totally been inspiring!

Random Dent said...

Lovely post! :-)

momo said...

I love this letter! and I'm sure he appreciates it. It can be lonely speaking up, and hearing back about how your words have comforted someone must be very rare.

Margaret said...

Good of him; good of you; some thank-you's deserve sausages.

ArtSparker said...

I recognize the sausage factory metaphor, it was the elaboration of it into turning gay people into sausages to which I was referring...

poodletail said...

Thank you for your thoughtful thank you to Fr. Tedeger. I only wrote enough to have it go in the "Pro" pile.

He'll probably keep your note in his Bible.

Fresca said...

Thanks, all!

SPARKY: Oh, yes, that. I sort of had lampshades in the back of my mind too. Disturbing.

Kellie said...

Oh, how funny: I grew up a few blocks from Fr. Tedeger's house!

I hope against hope that he is receiving more thank-yous than attacks right now. That would say something, wouldn't it?