Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Ageless Wonders

Many a priest was there who earned the nickname "Father What-a-Waste" from my female college classmates. The Catholic university had many priests as professors--many of them who were barely older than the students, many who just seemed that young.
The priests, highly-educated, cultured, and well-spoken, were fawned over by the girls, with a big part of the priests' appeal resting in the fact that they were untouchable and unattainable-truly "playing hard to get."
I remember my amazement that a favorite priest of mine-an important part of my formative years-was forty years old when he'd taught me a few years before in a creative writing course. I would have sworn before a jury that he was no older than 30 at that time.
The priests themselves were known to joke that it was the lack of a family and its responsibilities that made them appear so young. The vigorous eighty-something priest from Colombia who traveled there at least three times a year to visit family and take his annual trip to the family farm to help with the harvest was one shining example of this longevity.
So too was the fifty-something who had traveled to Los Angeles to participate every marathon since its inception in 1984.
The chaplain for the baseball team who regularly attended practice and shagged fly balls (albeit it not at Vince Coleman speed) when the team was short on players? Fifty-two without a noticeable gray hair.
Forget Ponce de Leon and Botox-the priests are the ones who have the answers to The Fountain of Youth.

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