I received an e-mail reminder yesterday from a friend about October 16 – “Pope Day.”
As soon as I got her e-mail, I went to see if there was, in fact, anything planned in the Los Angeles area. The popeday website simply mentioned that someone in LA had requested copies of the Love & Responsibility handout. But there was nothing in the calendar of the diocesan newspaper, so I couldn’t connect with other young adults.
But I decided to do my own Pope Day activity: hand out the L&R article on the streets of Los Angeles! I went to Kinko’s and made 25 copies. When I approached people, I first would initiate a conversation with one of the following:
- Could I ask you a question? What do you know about Pope John Paul II?
- I have something I’m handing out for free. You don’t have to take it if you don’t want to. It’s about the teachings of the Pope on sexuality, which most people have never seen. When people start paying attention to this message, it’s going to turn the Church on its head (sounds exciting, doesn’t it? What communist wouldn’t be interested in that?)
Some of the recipients so far:
- a guy sitting next to me at the Kinko’s in Burbank
- a gay man on Hollywood Boulevard who propositioned me as I approached him (there’s a screenplay here… PG-13); he thought that the Pope had already died
- a intelligent-looking woman standing in front of the Chinese Theater waiting for a friend; she told me that the only thing she knew about the Pope was that the Vatican was ticked that the Pope got overlooked for the Nobel Peace Prize
- the entrance to a big porn shop on Hollywood Boulevard (just threw it across the entryway)
- a guy who had stepped out of a trendy bar in Los Feliz (sort of like Uptown Mpls) for a smoke
Almost always, people have been curious. And three of them genuinely thanked me for the chance to read what the Pope actually has said.
So God’s grace is active, even in the bowels of the Hollywood dragon.