Father Tony

Playing on Nathan's Hair-then-and-now post

Filed By Father Tony | May 06, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Bilerico contributors, now and then, then and now

At a reader's request, here's a riff on Nathan's Now and Then post:

may 1977.jpg

  1. As an assistant papal master of ceremony, I used a lot of Italian hairspray. My coif was waterproof.
  2. I played tennis everyday and taught English to embassy brats.
  3. I gave haircuts to my theology classmates who shared their course notes with me. I rarely attended class. I don't think I missed much, having passed all the exams.
  4. A wealthy Roman lad picked me up in front of the Stazione Termini, and then conveniently left the city for his mandatory year of military service.
  5. Twin Swiss Guards attended my ordination....
  6. When I had this cassock made, the papal tailors at Gammarelli's exclaimed that it had been decades since anyone requested a collar that high. I replied that it had been decades since anyone on staff had only one chin.
  7. On Sundays, my apostolic work was to preach in Italian to the patients at Carlo Forlanini Hospital. My sermons were salubrious in their brevity.
  8. Once, in St. Peter's while waiting for the pope to descend in his secret oval glass elevator, a young German Benedictine friend and I, having stoked the incense, had a smoke behind the curtains while leaning against the back of the Pieta and lifting our robes to practice a tap routine we had seen in A Chorus Line. I remember thinking that no one in the world was having as much fun as me.
  9. One summer day, at the North American bishops' villa in Castel Gondolfo, my classmate from San Francisco and I released a herd of hungry pigs who attacked a group of picnicking American cardinals and bishops, forcing them to jump into the swimming pool.
  10. As a deacon in London, I was secretary for the perpetually traveling and very tall Laurean Rugambwa, the Cardinal of Tanzania, whose bedroom was conveniently next to mine. Concurrently, I conducted a liaison dangereuse with an Anglican priest named Thaddeus and was first published, having written about Anglican/Catholic ecumenism.

I guess a lot has changed. Nowadays...

Thirty-two years later, interviewing Q-Talk's Frantz and prominent photographer Frank Louis at Jack Mackenroth's birthday bash at Star Lounge in the Chelsea Hotel. One's hair makes its own life choices.


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But wait! There's more! So much more.

Gorgeous then and now, Father T, but that's a fraction of who you are. You always leave us wanting more.

Ha! If you were my Priest growing up in 12yrs of Parochial School... we would tagged you "Father Whatawaste" behind your back and you would have had the biggest, longest lines on Saturday night Confessions from all the Abuelitas.

Fr. Tim of South Philly | May 6, 2009 9:37 PM

That cassock is F A B U L O U S!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | May 7, 2009 12:50 AM

And so what did you do the second week? Loved it, particularly the vision of you behind the Pieta!

I have found that the French-speaking Swiss Guards are more agréable than the German-speaking Swiss Guards. Papa Ratzinger has made me very sentimental for the days of Papa Montini.

I love the pigs story. And whatever could those ellipses mean after "ordination"? ;-)

A. J. Lopp | May 7, 2009 2:37 PM

Oh, Father Tony, I'm in love with a man who no longer exists! ... like Christopher Reeves in Somewhere in Time I am haunted by a picture from the past with a face so classic it belongs as the lead in a major motion picture, as they say.

That picture looks like it was taken in 1820 or so ... not that I am implying, Father Tony, that you are actually that old ...

P.S. Many things may have changed, but you still have the same eyebrows ... they are still shaped the same, at least.

"Once, in St. Peter's while waiting for the pope to descend in his secret oval glass elevator, a young German Benedictine friend and I, having stoked the incense... "

See, I totally read that as "stroked".

Nice eyebrows, BTW.

This must be the week for Freudian reading---I thought it said "TOKED". LOL