Mantilla the Hon on Sneakers at Mass

Mantilla the Hon on Sneakers at Mass June 2, 2009

Hon, let me tell you something.  I mean listen, I don’t want to sound like Imelda Marcos, but it’s true. Shoes matter.

I was over there at Fr. Elvis’ parish the other week for Pentecost, and guess what? He’s wearing red cowboy boots! You can see them under his robes. He come strutting up the aisle very proud of hisself and after he say, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” he say, “Today is Pentecost and I get the chance to wear my red cowboy boots.” Everybody starts laughing. They love Fr. Elvis and think he is real cool. I’m not lying. This really happened. Then he preaches all about how he loves watching reality TV shows and tells everyone that Mass is like a reality TV show.
OK. I’m getting off track, but not really. Over in Spain where I come from they teach the children that shoes are how you judge somebody. You know? If a man has not shined his shoes when he comes to work the boss think, “This guy doesn’t care.” If a woman wears sloppy old slippers to work her boss think, “This woman doesn’t care.” You know what happens when it’s time for a promotion? The guy with good shoes gets it. The girl with nice shoes gets it. What happens when a boy goes to take out a girl? First thing her father does is look at his shoes. Right away he knows whether the boy comes from a good family or not. A girl meets the family of her boyfriend? They look at her shoes. Is she wearing slinky red high heels? They know right away that she is not serious. You know? Shoes matter.
Maybe you think, “Come on Mantilla, this is just shoes.” No. That’s not right. Shoes are important.
What about the servers at Mass? There they are wearing robes and serving at  Mass and you see them wearing old sneakers underneath. You know these sneakers sometimes smell like dead weasels. This is not good. Then one time I see this girl wearing flip flops with sequins on them. Another girl is wearing slingback sandals in hot pink. I’m not lying. One time I see a boy wearing those sneakers that have wheels built in and he’s rolling down the aisle on them for a minute. Another time this boy is kneeling down at Mass and he has red lights flashing all around the heel of his sneakers. What kind of dumb is this? Eh?
At the University of Salamanca where I did my degree in Ecclesiastical Haberdashery we were taught that the servers wear black dress shoes. And they must be shined real good. That’s it. You’re in the Lord’s army. If you are in the Marines do you think you would get away with sneakers that light up or sneakers that smell like dead weasels? I don’t think so. The drill sergeant would eat you for dinner… Slowly.
But at Mass everybody seems to think it is ok. Let me tell you hon. It is not ok. Why don’t the priests just tell the servers the rules? It’s just exactly like at those restaurants, but a little bit different: They say, “No shirt, No Shoes. No Service.” I say, “No Shiny Black Shoes No Service.”
Think about it hon. These kids are serving in the court of the king of heaven. Would you wear sneakers to go visit King Juan Carlos? I don’t think so. You let the kids wear sneakers to Mass soon they want to wear shorts and T-shirt and next thing they don’t want to go at all.
There’s nothing to argue about. Get the black shoes. No sneakers. No hush puppies. No sandals. No slingbacks. No high heels, and no red cowboy boots either. I don’t care if you are the priest.
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