Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Editor's Note

Laughter at the wrong moment

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

May 11, 2022

He was trying to make me laugh during a prayer service.

I was attending an event in Watertown with a camera around my neck. An outdoor event, I had plenty of space to photograph from different angles, and I was circling around the area where people were gathered taking advantage of that opportunity. As I made camera adjustments to frame a shot, I saw in the edge of my view a face that stood out.

One of the priests attending the event was looking directly into the camera with a big grin – the kind I usually describe as a “cheesing smile” – like when a little kid says “cheese” and settles on an overpronounced fake smile for a photo.

The expression caught me off guard, and I started laughing. The involved priest seemed pretty pleased with himself for getting me going.

I immediately thought of my father.

My father can’t behave in church. Sitting next to him at a wedding, funeral or other Mass usually involves getting poked in the ribs, having your hand squeezed extremely hard during the Sign of Peace or being subjected to some other action intended to make a person squirm or make a noise. His father – my grandfather – was the same way. It’s simultaneously annoying and endearing.

While part of me says prayer services, funerals, weddings… aren’t the time for clowning around, the people I know who can’t behave in church are among the most joyful people I’ve ever met. Whether a priest or a husband and father, they just can’t help but share their joy and craziness with others.

I’m fairly certain that at least part of their joy stems from being where they’re supposed to be – my dad with his family, and this priest worshipping with the people of God. They find joy living their vocations. They share that joy with others, but they do it in their own ways.

Isn’t that what we celebrate in this edition? We celebrate the ways God calls each of us to follow Him. We celebrate the joy that comes in living our vocations and how we share that joy with the world in the service of the one who gave it to us.

Sometimes, that joy is shared by making people laugh when they shouldn’t.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.