There was a small ceremony of consecrating a virgin in the seminary today. Coadjutor Archbishop William Goh presided over it in a small prayer room. The lay staff in the seminary was not informed of this ceremony as it was supposed to be a quiet one. There was a party of a few invited guests to that ceremony. One of them was a lady in her late 60s. She entered the seminary and asked where the chapel was. The staff who met her replied that the was no booking of the chapel for anyone and asked if she had mistaken the venue. The lady replied that the staff member "did not know anything" and that she was invited personally by Archbishop Goh. The lay staff replied that the chapel was not open to the public and that a group of sisters doing a retreat was having a Eucharistic celebration at the moment and that the lady, whom she had addressed as 'sister', was mistaken as she would have been informed if something was to occur in the seminary chapel. The lady replied that the staff "did not know anything" and just walked away in a huff. Of course the lay staff in question was very put off by her attitude and was was very annoyed. In a loud voice she proclaimed, "What kind of Catholics do we have here?" Indeed, I felt her annoyance and empathise with her. Even if she was a close intimate friend of the Archbishop, she should, as a good Catholic, understand that the staff was just doing her job. Dropping names, especially the way it was done, was just odious and rude. I know that the Archbishop would not say anything about the offence because he tries his best to be amiable to all. What makes me mad is that I cannot do anything either because I was not present. How I wish I could teach this lady some manners?!!
Although there were occasions that I had expressed my displeasure over things, I had tried my best to be polite. There were several times, I recall, that I was less than ideal, raising my voice and literally admonishing people. After the emotions passed, I would sometimes regret my actions. The question I would ask myself is, "Would a pastor with the heart of Jesus do things this way?" I know that I would start thinking, "He/She should have done it this/that way ..." or "I would have done it this/that way ..." By accusing someone of being rude and trying to correct him/her, was I not just like that person, not trying to understand why that person acted the way he/she did? By accusing someone of being arrogant and rude, was I not being arrogant and rude myself? When I say I hate people who practise name dropping, am I not the same when I expect to be treated differently when I am in my cassock? Both cases are expressing one's self-importance to others. It would seem that I should now add this act of hypocrisy to my list for the sacrament of reconciliation.