Sunday, October 22, 2006

Looking Forward

Hard to believe, but next weekend it'll be time for the annual spate of Halloween parties.... Haven't picked my costume yet, but there's always the temptation to call in the cassock and Gammarelli surplice I wore in '03.

(Sure, it was quite the day for the "cultic" model of priesthood -- people in the street forgot it was Halloween, approaching with the request that I hear their confessions, at which they were pointed to the nearest rectory -- but it might just be best to reserve the rig to years in which the archbishop of Philadelphia is elevated to the Sacred College.)

To business, in a shameless rip from TIME, Whispers closed 2005 by naming its first Churchman of the Year. Two, actually -- monumental year that it was, the award was divided, with Don Giussani taking the international honors and then-Archbishop Levada claiming the US prize.

As November and December always tend to become a black hole of everything Christmas -- card-writing, party-hopping, excessive gift-buying, etc. -- it seems optimal to get a head start on the process with the means by which everything good gets done here: reader input.

Given these pages' increase in audience size over the last ten months, this should make for a lot of fun, with a wider range of voices enabling a more comprehensive field of nominees.

Ideally, the honoree(s) is/are tied in with one of the year's major stories or guiding trends. For obvious reasons, last year was easy, but given Regensburg/Liturgy Wars/the Coming of Bertone/various appointments/et al., the field just opens all the more.... And, just so you know, the "churchman" doesn't have to be a cleric, nor a man -- the primary criterion, however, is ad intra resonance.

I might already have a name or two in mind, but the year's far from over -- and the readership has far greater a wisdom than its author. So feel free to send nominees my way, with 50-100 words as to why your choice deserves the nod.

Many thanks in advance; the designee(s) will be announced toward December's end.