Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"You're wearing red too!"

Last Friday, the Washington DC archdiocesan young adult office suggested that folks should wear red in salute to Donald Wuerl's appointment as cardinal. So I wore my reddest plaid button-down shirt, which still is not very red, but I think fit within the spirit of the suggestion.

That afternoon, I ran saw a man at the bathroom sink wearing a very bright red shirt. His shirt was at least as red as Cardinal Wuerl's new hat. Was he part of the archdiocesan salute as well? Was he excited about having a local bishop appointed to be cardinal? Or was the bright red shirt the last clean one that he'd had in his closet at the end of the week?

I considered exclaiming, "Hey, you're wearing red too! Is your shirt for Cardinal Wuerl?" Ecclesial appointments are not part of the usual office bathroom chit-chat and he might have been completely clueless. But connecting with colleagues about Church news might help bring to the front the Gospel that the Church wishes to share.

I'd never spoken with this red-shirt man before nor even seen him. If I had known him or even known that he was a fellow Catholic, could or should that have affected what I might have said to him? Are there good ways to bring up Church news with colleagues? What other "in the news" events might allow such topics to be prudently introduced? (For the record, I kept all of these questions to myself and didn't say anything at all. Did I miss an opportunity?)

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