Thursday, April 13, 2006

The L's of C

On the first Thursday of each month, I go up to the Cathedral in Richmond for an evening of recollection. This past first-Thursday, dad was out of town so I went with some friends, one of them being the seminarian.

It's about a two-hour drive to Richmond, but we got there really early. So, we went over to the park which is right in front of the Cathedral. We were yaking and all of the sudden my phone rings. I have caller ID but didn't recognize the number save that it showed up as someone who called earlier when I apparently couldn't get to the phone.

I pick up and answer. It's the Legionaries of Christ.


The person says he's Brother so and so from the Legionaries of Christ and that he wanted to make sure the giving of my number wasn't a prank pulled on me. I said thank you for calling, Brother, but that I'm afraid that this is a prank because I did not give my number to them. He basically says "oh okay" but that while I'm still on the line, can he interest me in any retreats of theirs? "No no", I tell him, "I've already got a bunch of retreats to potentially go to from the Dominicans (I said this because I had just got home from a Dominican retreat) and another order which, I've heard, does not get along well with the Legionaries of Christ. But the thing is, I mentioned the name of the latter order quite accidentally and didn't say it just to get a reaction. As a matter of fact, I didn't realize how funny a mistake that was until I related the story to mom and she cracked up. Anyway, the Brother apparently caught on and said "Oh...the Dominicans! That's great!", doing a good job of not mentioning the other order.

He says "God Bless" and we hang up.

Now, why is this so surprising? Well, a lot of people are aware, and some people not aware, that the Legionaries of Christ are absurdly vigilant in getting vocations. Like...really...really...vigilant. If you give them your home address, phone number, e-mail, the color of your eyes, a strand of your hair, absolutely ANYTHING, they will go after you and wrestle you into the submission of entering their seminary. They're a good group alright, but they're over-the-top in that respect. Naturally, it follows, it's a bit alarming getting a phone call from them.

Another question arises. How the hell did they get my phone number?! I didn't sure didn't give it to them but one thing came straight to mind - - the Dominican retreat I had just been to! I gave a couple of people there my phone number...they had probably, with good intentions no doubt, given my phone number to the Legionaries of Christ. So I e-mailed the folks who I gave my phone number to. Far from either of them giving it out one writes back advising me to change my phone number. I won't be doing that if only because, and they do deserve credit for this, they have not called me once since then. I told them I wasn't interested and they have left me be. Has someone told them to cool it down a degree? Possibly, but all I know is that they've left me along.

Anyway, I just wanted to put in little pixels on a computer screen my small experience with the Legionaries of Christ.