‘Please Send Money’

Sometimes we have to beg. This is one of those times. The economic crisis we’re in is affecting everyone, but just because we beg doesn’t mean we have to be dire about it. Neither will we make outrageous promises or resort to fear-based appeals.

I would rather relate an old story about a priest I knew. This tale is true, part humorous, and part pious, but it necessarily employs a technique calledhypertextual italicized subliminal communication,” or “HI-SoC” for short — to ensure we get donations. You will see what I mean soon enough, especially if you pay attention to the italics.

The story comes from an old Pallottine priest. As some regular readers may know, I used to be a seminarian and novice for the Pallottines, a religious congregation properly known as the Society for the Catholic Apostolate. This fact explains why I wrote a small biography of Saint Vincent Pallotti for our magazine, why I made a pilgrimage to his relics in Rome, and why I asked Gary Potter to write a Housetops article about the Pallottine Church in New York where I once lived, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in Harlem.

Although the Pallottines were originally named that Society of the Catholic Apostolate by the founder, Saint Vincent was forced to change the name a few times by some bishops who made objections. The name “Society of the Catholic Apostolate” was suppressed and the men’s Congregation was named the “Pious Society of the Missions” (PSM). The original name was restored by Pope Pius XII, and since that time the Pallottine Priests and Brothers are SACs (from the Latin, Societas Apostolatus Catholici).

When my old superior, Father Peter J. Rofrano, was at the seminary in Rome, he was a “PSM,” not an SAC. The joke among the seminarians was that these initials behind their name meant “Please Send Money.” (When the initials were changed back to the original, they said they were now “sad SACs” — presumably because nobody sent money.)

Our Lady’s work will not end if you don’t send us money. And neither will your donation guarantee an end to global warming, illegal immigration, Neo-Nazis, nor a socialist U.S. Presidential administration. What it will do is help the work of a small, committed group of Our Lady’s slaves — a work for the conversion of America, the glory of God, and the salvation of souls.