Today our neighbourhood school, St. Vincent’s Matriculation School, Chennai celebrated their Annual Day. What is a celebration for the school turns into a nightmare for residents as cars and bikes are parked haphazardly all around blocking off entrances and exits, and the roads too. This apart the noise can be quite deafening, and all the neighbourhood porkis also land up to ogle and get their share of free entertainment.
What puzzles me with our (un)holy Catholic fathers who run the school is their complete unconcern for the trouble they cause others. What happened to Christian charity and loving thy neighbour? I guess all that is paid lip service at church sermons when they also invoke the wrath of God on sinners. Apart from preaching with such passion, couldn’t the sanctimonious fathers put their preaching into practice? Or give their flock some practical tips on how to practice loving thy neighbour or caring about the common man/woman.
But no! One observes year after dreary year…when it comes to themselves and their celebrations, the (un)holy fathers are only concerned about themselves and showing off with pomp and arrogance…neighbours, passers-by and the rest be damned (to a living hell!).
Many of us have approached the (un)holy fathers requesting them to be a wee bit understanding and empathetic about the huge problems we face every time the church or the school decide to celebrate. What happens? It falls on deaf, indifferent ears. One observes the utter smugness, arrogance and holier-than-thou art attitude that seems to sum up almost 90% of Catholic fathers that I have met. They stand at the altar and make thundering speeches, sorry sermons, but the reality is so different. There is no humanity, no humility, no acceptance of another point of view. Just this smug attitude of ‘ we are priests and we are better than you’.
What lessons are they teaching their students? That it is all right to trouble the world and create chaos and disturbance as long as you get your way? Their attitude – ‘Look at us… we break the noise pollution laws, we ignore pleas from neighbours, we don’t care about the old and the infirm, we don’t care if people’s are facing health concerns because of our activities, who cares if others are inconvenienced…in the name of God, we can do anything’. Doesn’t that suck?
I must add, we did go and speak to Father Vincent, the Principal, the next day, as the senior school function is on this evening. For once, a Father greeted us courteously, heard us out and promised to ensure that we were not troubled. Needless to say, I was impressed.