Parishioner Believes She Might Have Just Understood A Word Visiting Nigerian Priest Said During Homily

May 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Mass

Claiming that she was almost certain she had comprehend a word the new visiting Nigerian priest used during the homily, longtime parishioner Abby Longworth excitedly turned to friends and fellow parishioners today to inform them of the good news.

“I wouldn’t put my life on it, but I think he said ‘magisterium,’” Longworth whispered to parishioners, adding that she thinks he may have also used the word “obedient,” which, if her assumption was correct, meant the priest was delivering a homily about being faithful Catholics who adhere to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

“If my theory is correct, and I pray it is, that would mean that this really is a kick-butt homily. He is Nigerian after all, and Nigerian priests are typically pretty solid, which only strengthens my theory that much more.”

While Longworth is excited to believe that she might’ve just heard a wonderful homily, she is now reportedly bracing herself for next week, when another visiting priest, Fr. Batongbacal Estrella, visits from the Philippines.

  • The most interesting homily I ever heard was from a Vietnamese priest who learned English in Texas (where I am not located).

    • antigon

      By His Grace, the good Lord allowed me to go rather deaf early on, so have been unable to hear homilies for years, which I suspect may have been an effort to help me keep the Faith.

      • samton909

        God is merciful.

  • Ryan LeBlanc

    USA: 1 Priest for 2000 Catholics
    Nigeria: 1 priest for 4300 Catholics
    Why is Nigeria missionizing America?

    • Manuel Buen Abad Najar

      Maybe because a huge percentage of americans (both from lay people and clergy) are NOT faithful to the Magisterium. Supporting divorce, remarrying couples, abortion…

      African priests are way more solid in the teachings of the Church that many bishops and cardinals here in the US.

      And this is a satiric news site, so, chillax 🙂

    • John Ritter

      Follow the money. They make Africans Priests before they even go through the Seminary. It was weird calling classmates Father in Seminary when you were more educated than they were. It would be nice to have that option here. Once you’re in you’re in, otherwise you’re at the mercy of politics.

      • Robert Jackson

        Our African priests are very well educated and completed seminary. If you have your facts correct and aren’t guessing, sorry for your experience. Catholicism is growing rapidly in Africa and is one of the hopeful things these days.

    • Robert Jackson

      We have always carried 4 priests in our parish, thanks to the Africans making up for the shortages.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      They’re not. The USA is where the seminaries are. The agreement is usually that they are educated here, and in exchange they serve in the diocese for X years before moving back.

      • Douglas

        Not true. How do you keep them in Nigeria when they have seen the delights of the good ol’ U.S of A

        • Andy, Bad Person

          By a vow of obedience to their bishop.

          • Greg A

            That is just flat not correct. They don’t need to serve in the diocese of their seminary before moving back to Nigeria (or whatever country they’re from)…that’s just flat wrong. Bishops don’t own the seminarians in their dioceses following ordination. They’re ordained by their home bishop (which, in this case, would be in Nigeria). Some choose to come here to live and stay, but they are not forced to serve here as a form of “repayment” for studying here.

          • Douglas

            Some are ordained by American bishops. I was ordained with a guy from nigeria

  • cececole

    At my parish in Washington, DC 35 years ago, weekly we had an Italian priest from the Apostolic Nunciature saying one of the Sunday masses. Lovely man, but very hard to understand. After several weeks in a row of having Msgr. L as the celebrant, I have to admit I called the church office to see which priests were scheduled for which masses for the upcoming Sunday. Sometimes you really do need to hear a homily.

  • Jude

    Ha ha. Many years ago I attended a Mass at my grandparent’s parish and could not understand a single thing that the Korean priest said during the homily. Turns out my grandparents could never understand him either. They loved all priests and prayed for them. But honestly, his English was so bad and so accented, the homily became time to pray on your own.

    • Casper

      There’s always the rosary. : )

  • woden325

    My pastor is Nigerian. The older folks in my parish have two problems with him: he’s hard to understand and he’s too orthodox.
    I understand him just fine, and love that he’s actually orthodox.

  • kamiller42

    Which would you choose?
    a) A flaccid warmed-over homily plainly spoken.
    b) An orthodoxical, deep, relevant homily spoken with in a strong accent.

    Myself, I will always choose B.

  • samton909

    I love the sound of an African accent. Sure, at first it is hard to understand, but as time goes by, it becomes easy to understand. And then you begin to enjoy it, especially since you are hearing about Catholicism for the first time in many years.

  • John Ritter

    If you are hard of hearing, accents are twice as hard to understand. I cannot attend Mass at the St. Louis Cathedral, because it echoes so badly I can’t understand anything. Even the music which I’m sure is expertly played is lost on me.

  • Robert Jackson

    There are some occasional issues with accents, but we love the African priests we have known over the years. Their homilies are good, and they are good and orthodox (that means correct, as opposed to liberal).

  • English is the official language of Nigeria. But since it is British English that might be the problem.

    (I have known two Nigerian priests and I agree, they are good speakers and very orthodox. I would love to attend one of their Masses in their native language.)

  • Jim

    With everybody typing in accents, I haven’t been able to read a single comment on this page. Maybe this weekend, on Pentecost…hmm.

    • Yòú àrè ńót véry tōléráńt óf áćčéńtś.

      • Razanir

        Ýüø åñð ỹóǚŕ ǹöŕḿæł łøöḱïǹġ äçćëñṫṡ…

  • Casper

    Ok, EOTT, this is true at times. However, we have an awesome Nigerian priest, who has a very clear speaking voice, very gently manner, and wonderful liturgy full of chant. We will miss you Father Mark!

  • Hotrod1962

    Yes, I know, sometimes these foreign priests are hard to understand but, I’ve been in some churches where the sound systems were so bad, I would of preferred a tomato soup can and string.

  • Ever mindful

    When the fiery preacher thundered” There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”, a little old lady raised her hand and asked “What if you have no teeth?”
    “Teeth will be provided!!”

  • Mike Dross

    My Rice Krispies just said ‘Magisterium.’

  • ithakavi

    Look at it this way: When you go to confession he probably doesn’t understand you any better than you do him. And if you recount your sins in American vernacular, it’s even less likely. The confusion works in both directions. Just make sure you hear the word ‘absolve.’

    • Hotrod1962

      Yeah…save the really bad sins for the Nigerian priests, they may not understand you especially if you talk real fast.

      • ithakavi

        Um. This is satire.

        • Hotrod1962

          Where I grew up, if you wanted to get out of the confessional real fast, we would slip a ten under the confessional door.

          • ithakavi

            Ah, an Irish parish no doubt. The Italians would demand a twenty.

  • Mara319

    In my parish we’ve had Filipino priests, priests from India, Ireland, Nigeria and Colombia. We’ve even had a Polish priest who has spent years as a missionary in Africa.

    But the hippest, most difficult to understand is the US-born Scottish-Chinese priest from Silicon Valley who speaks American vernacular with breathtaking rapidity. He’s a young, geeky Pope-Benedict vintage priest, partly minted in Rome, who loves to Latin-chant the Ordinary, so you know he’s super-orthodox.

    But when he gives the homily, we sink back to a stream-of-consciousness mode and hope to hear between the lines.

  • Robert Jackson

    I read the original post and scanned a few comments. I’ve already commented on both the post and some of the comments. As a conservative it feels weird to appear to be playing the race card, but some thoughts expressed here, from the post onward, seem racist.

    Our large church in the South is blessed with four priests at all times. One is always Hispanic and one is always African. America, with recent declines in the priesthood are blessed to have them, as is our parish. We traveled to New England several years ago and one priest was covering two churches by himself. Thankfully the trend is reversing.

    The Church is blessed as well with the growth of our faith in Africa, which may save the state of Christianity in the world for a time. My wife is Filipino, we have lived in the Philippines, we have known many Filipino priests, and we became friends with each African priest at our parish, having them at our home on several occasions. I chose the current African father at our church as my spiritual advisor for my fiction and poetry. A previous one, who we were also friends with is now the head of his large order’s American branch.

    The African accents are a problem; deal with it and consider yourselves lucky you have a priest (or more than one). Filipino priests from one of the great Catholic traditions and battle scarred from struggle in a country that can be difficult at times, have lovely exotic accents and are easily understood by anyone who makes any effort at all. I am surprised at the sarcasm from Catholics in this discussion. Perhaps it is just the typical modern American sense of entitlement. Our faith teaches us friendship and cooperation, but to Americans its all about them, the individual. I’m done here and won’t defend these comments as they are facts observed from experience and thus need no defense. I would have nothing else to say about them.

  • Robert Jackson

    I read the original post and scanned a few comments. I’ve already commented on both the post and some of the comments. As a conservative it feels weird to appear to be playing the race card, but some thoughts expressed here, from the post onward, seem racist.

    Our large church in the South is blessed with four priests at all times. One is always Hispanic and one is always African. American Catholics, with recent declines in the priesthood are blessed to have them, as is our parish. We traveled to New England several years ago and one priest was covering two churches by himself. Thankfully the trend is reversing. Our foreign priests are knowledgeable and well trained; I’m not sure I believe any claims otherwise. Perhaps some have been misinformed, but I could be wrong in some cases.

    The Church is blessed as well with the growth of our faith in Africa, which may save the state of Christianity in the world for a time. My wife is Filipino, and we have lived in the Philippines, we have known many Filipino priests, and we became friends with each African priest at our parish, having them at our home on several occasions. I chose the current African father at our church as my spiritual advisor for my fiction and poetry. A previous one, who we were also friends with is now the head of his large order’s American branch.

    The African accents are a problem; deal with it and consider yourselves lucky you have a priest (or more than one). Filipino priests from one of the great Catholic traditions and battle scarred from struggle in a country that can be difficult at times, have lovely exotic accents and are easily understood by anyone who makes any effort at all. I am surprised at the sarcasm from Catholics in this discussion. Perhaps it is just the typical modern American sense of entitlement. Our faith teaches us friendship and cooperation, but to Americans it’s all about them, the individual.

    I’m done here and won’t defend these comments as they are facts observed from experience and thus need no defense. I would have nothing else to say about them.

  • Padre Francisco

    For the good Catholics who cannot understand a Nigerian priest I have one solution: send your son to the seminary, and, once a priest, he will speak your language without any offensive accent.

  • Admiral Nissan

    In our diocese, the Nigerian Priests seem to be focused on younger kids and free dinners.