… Dear Jimmy Fallon,
A few years ago you surprised and delighted us all by declaring your papist roots in an NPR interview. Only, did you know your interview has been and continues to be used by some as justification to vilify Vatican II and the Norvus Ordo mass, saying it’s a perfect illustration of why people leave the Church? I’m sure you didn’t mean for that to happen but the internet being what it is, stuff happens.
I read that you tried to go back, which is a start, but were deterred by some bad liturgy; which, by the way, would make an awesome musical parody… “Bad Liturgy ’til the day I Die.” You can’t let Conan and Colbert hold claim to all the Catholic shtick.
Also, you should totally have Cardinal Dolan on your show.
GROSS: Do you still go to church?
Mr. FALLON: I don’t go to – I tried to go back. When I was out in L.A. and I was kind of struggling for a bit. I went to church for a while, but it’s kind of, it’s gotten gigantic now for me. It’s like too… There’s a band. There’s a band there now, and you got to, you have to hold hands with people through the whole Mass now, and I don’t like doing that. You know, I mean, it used to be the shaking hands piece was the only time you touched each other.
Firstly, congratulations on the Tonight Show and being able to stay in New York City. I’m sure you’re relieved you won’t be returning to L.A., home of the bad liturgy experience. Hopefully that means we can expect to see you in the pews of any one of New York’s finest Catholics Churches some time soon, right? Because I’m sure you weren’t just using bad liturgy as an excuse not to go back to Church.
Excuses are “ew”.
I know from personal experience how cringe worthy terrible liturgy is, with it’s hand holding and awful tambourine music. Yes, it does not motivate one to want to return to that Church. “That” being the imperative word. That particular church with the terrible liturgy, not The Church.
That’s why I bet you’re thrilled to pieces to be staying in New York where beautiful liturgy abounds. I’m excited for you to experience again the glory and solemnity from your childhood altar serving days. From that time where your love of The Church had you considering the priesthood.
GROSS: So you went to Catholic school when you were young.
Mr. FALLON: Oh yeah.
GROSS: Did you have…
Mr. FALLON: I wanted to be a priest.GROSS: Did you really?
Mr. FALLON: Yeah. I loved it.
Mr. FALLON: I just, I loved the church. I loved the idea of it. I loved the smell of the incense. I loved the feeling you get when you left church. I loved like how this priest can make people feel this good. I just thought it was – I loved the whole idea of it. My grandfather was very religious, so I used to go to Mass with him at like 6:45 in the morning, serve Mass. And then you made money, too, if you did weddings and funerals. You’d get like five bucks. And so I go ‘Okay, I can make money too.’ I go, ‘This could be a good deal for me.’ I thought I had the calling.
That’s why I am confident you won’t let a severe case of bad liturgies keep you from returning Home to Rome, or keep your daughter from having the same wonderful childhood experiences as you did. Also, congratulations on her birth. I can’t wait to see the baptism pictures you’re sure to share on your Tumblr feed.
Experiencing your children discover their family faith and prepare for their sacraments is one of the many wonderful blessings of being a parent. But you already know that, you said so yourself in Glamour this month. Well, sort of, in a roundabout way.
“She’ll see every James Cagney movie because I’m Irish and that’s what you do. “
Yes, that’s what you do. You share with your kids family history, cultivate a pride in your Irish heritage, and share things from your youth that helped shape who you are today. Like being Catholic.
So please, Mr. Fallon, my hope is that you’ll make one of these parishes in your fine city your new home. Don’t let bad liturgy, bad theology, bad homilies, bad church ornamentation or any other form of badness deter you and your family from Church.
Church of The Holy Innocents, on B’way & 37th
The Church of Our Saviour, located on Murray Hill
Church of St. Michael, 424 West 34th St
And if you never read this (which is highly likely you may not because who am I?) maybe someone else who left the Church for whatever reason or excuse will read this and consider coming Home themselves.
Whatever your past experiences with a particular parish, known that single church does not encompass the Universal Church. There’s a place for everyone. It may be harder to find for some than others, but it’s there and it’s patiently waiting for you to come Home.