70 year old rookie priest

There was lots of religion in Fridays' Chicago Tribune.

A feature on Obadiah the Proselyte who converted to Judaism on 1102 AD. It was "not a popular thing to do" at the time, notes the Tribune's Ron Grossman, giving the ongoing Crusades.

Conversions were supposed to go the other way, with Jews sometimes being forced to give up their ancestral faith on pain of death.

In Obadiah's case, the scandal was double: Of noble birth, he was headed for the priesthood before he converted. Originally known as Johannes the son of Dreux, he took the name of a biblical prophet who also was a convert.

As the price of his conversion, Obadiah left his home for a life of wandering in Muslim countries of the eastern Mediterranean, which were more tolerant of his new faith.

Then there was this piece, not for the faint of heart, about a mom haunted by her young son's unsolved murder.

I can't get this detail of the story out of my head.

"I have faith in God," said Mesarchik, a thin woman with a husky voice and intense eyes that flash when she speaks of Dalton. "Even if police don't get the person who did this, God's going to get him.

"But I would rather have the police get him. I want the police to get him so he can't do this again."

Tucked in the botton of the religion page was this story of a 70 year old man being ordained a priest.

I had to find more, and found this piece on the Akron Beacon Journal.

The newly ordained Father Samuel Leonard--with 10 children and more than 20 grandchildren--dreamed f becoming a priest as a kid, but got married instead. When his wife died six years ago, she told him "God had a plan for him."

Samuel had been in lay ministry for more than 20 years.

In 1979, with nine children at home, the Leonards made a radical leap of faith. They agreed that Samuel Leonard should quit his job as a salesman to pursue lay ministry full time.

``God always provided,'' Leonard said. ``We were always able to put food on the table.''

About two months after he quit his job, when they had no money to pay the bills, the Leonards answered a request to conduct a spontaneous Bible study. After the session, the 10 participants put money in a basket for the Leonards. The $26 collected was enough for food.

One other Trib stor caught my eye, about a blogger and suburban mother of two who also runs a sex shop. It got the best lead I've seen in ages and is a welcome relief to the foolish popup ad for all the x-rated foolishness that come on every time I log on.

True story.

Guy walks into a sex-toy store. Sees more female flesh than he expected. Flees.

Women were breast-feeding their babies.

Leigh Anne Wilson is nearly bent double as she tells this story, her hearty alto booming out through the Lakeview storefront.

"The poor guy!" she laughs. "Any other time, seeing that many breasts in a sex-toy store would have made for the best Saturday ever!"


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