Friday, March 23, 2007

Catholicspeak: A User's Guide

Working in a Catholic bookstore, you hear a unique dialect. I call it "Catholicspeak." This is, I stress, a dialect, not Catholic language properly so called. I am not making any of this up. We hear this on a daily basis. And so I offer a modest translation service:

The User's Guide to Catholic Speak

Common expressions:
The beautification vision: when seeing God face to face gives you that special glow
Beautification: official ceremony marking a holy person as "Blessed" (and, by extension, "beautiful" in our sight)
Aluminum Gentium: a Vatican II document (use shiny side out)
Catholism: all-encompassing term for the doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church
Fundalism: all-encompassing term for the doctrines and practices of certain evangelical denominations
Recipitation of the rosary: praying a common prayer vocally (perhaps with a receipt or certificate of accomplishment?)
Chastity sets: Christening sets (start 'em out early on the right path)

Popular Catholic speak saints (seriously):
St. Thomas A-queasy (rhymes with "Assisi")
Sts. Cereal and Methodus

Religious Orders:
The San Friscans
The Jay Suits
The Dis-calloused Carmelites

I can't even list the Biblical selections in Catholicspeak; suffice it to say that the translators should have been more careful.

I hope this User's Guide to Common Catholicspeak has been helpful to you. Please list any emendations or additions in the Comments box!

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MaureenM said...

LOL, Sister. In terms of what you sell in the bookstore, my daughter in fourth grade suggested that a Bible with the books in alphabetical order would make it easier to find her religion class reading assignments! ;-)

Anonymous said...

More catholicspeak to add to Sr.Anne Joan's list:
Abraham fell prostate (prostrate)before the Lord.
The burning brassiere (brazier) appeared with sacrifices. anon

Anonymous said...

"...and deliver us from weavils, amen!"

Deacon Fred said...

And a new one from our current confirmation class: Saint Benedict the African Church!

xaipe said...

Actually, Deacon, there IS a St. Benedict the African. He used to be called "Benedict the Moor." And there is a "St. Benedict the Moor" Church out here somewhere...