Friday, July 29, 2011

Staten Island Priest Has Huge Collection of Statues, Relics

Catholic New York ran this story about a Staten Island priest and his unusual hobby. According to the article, he owns between 300 to 400 statues, from life-size to less than a foot tall, and an unspecified number of relics, presumably numbering in the hundreds as well. (There seems to be a theme lately with statues and Staten Island priests.) The article goes on to say although "...he can’t cite an amount, his collection has cost him a great deal. 'This is where my money goes', he said." Well, although a priest is entitled to do with his money what he wants, and it's not a bad thing to like statues or relics, I'm not sure this should have been a newspaper story. I think it kind of makes him and, by extension, the priesthood, look a little weird. Will a man who is publicly known for hoarding hundreds of little statues (figurines) be the type of person who inspires young men to consider the priesthood? It might endear him to crazy Italian grandmothers from Bensonhurst, but what about everyone else? I think people might consider him eccentric at best, genuinely strange at worst. I think it's time to start divesting himself of his hoarded treasures. The little statues might make good Communion or Confirmation presents. The larger ones could enliven his bare, Vatican II church. I don't know what church law says about relics, but surely it's not proper for one man to keep hundreds of them locked in his drawer. Collecting can be fun, but after a while, collections start to own us, rather than the other way around. The Son of Man had no place to lay his head, let alone the storage space to hold some vast collection of pretty things.

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