Family Ties, humor, Veganiness

What Jesus Would Definitely NOT Do


Every other week, I meet with one of my favorite people in the world, my thesis advisor, Mary Pat (or MP, as we affectionately call her). At the start of these chats, we often find ourselves sharing humorous anecdotes before getting down to brass tacks.

Speaking of nail-like things, this past week, she shared a little story about growing up Catholic as one of seven siblings. “This wasn’t like growing up in the 80s,” she said. “I mean, we had nuns. Nun nuns.”

“On Good Friday,” MP continued, “from 12 to 3, while Jesus was on the cross, Catholics are supposed to be quiet. Our parents would put all seven of us in our tiny basement and not let us out until we oh-so-silently finished our annual arts and crafts project. Which was,” she paused dramatically, “to make a life-sized Jesus on the cross using brown paper bags, red markers, tape, and scissors.  We didn’t have to make the cross, just Jesus — which was a depressing task to say the least, especially with four brothers who loved drawing the gory parts…”

I stared at her, mouth agape. “Go on.”

“Once giant Jesus was complete, my parents hung Him on the wall where He remained for the rest of Good Friday and most of Holy Saturday. Then, Saturday night before bed, we rolled Him up and put Him in a shoebox with a rock on top, like His tomb,” she took a breath. “This isn’t even the best part.”

I pursed my lips. This was already the greatest story I’d ever heard.


“In the morning — on Easter — we would come downstairs to discover that the shoebox was empty, the rock removed! If we wondered where He went, we needed only tip our seven little faces toward the heavens to find Him.”

“The…ceiling?” I could barely get the words out.

“That’s right,” she confirmed. “After we went to bed, my parents would tape Him to the ceiling in the dining room. He had risen!”

I’m guessing it didn’t look like this.


Any other horrifying fun family memories you’d like to share?



17 thoughts on “What Jesus Would Definitely NOT Do”

  1. Thanks, Jules for that fascinating anecdote. As a former Catholic and a member of the generation closer to MP’s than yours I enjoyed reliving those dark days (it seemed at the time) through your post. It’s reassuring to realize that MP seems to have made it out all right with her mental faculties intact. Today’s kids seem so much smarter with their cell phones and selfies except they eat Tide Pods and shoot each other at school. Times have sure changed.

      1. At least you got good nutrients in the dog food. Sorry to rain on your post. It was your usual great fun. As a cranky old man, I guess I am bewildered at the current world although I love my iPhone as much as any Millennial.

  2. I wonder what happened after He had risen: I assume Jesus wouldn’t just go into the trash the next morning, since that would be kind of a desecration. But what about recycling, so that he could then come back later?
    Or would Jesuses from the past years simply accumulate on the ceiling? And if yes, would Jesuses be nailed to the ceiling as a more permanent solution?
    Or would Jesus be saved, possibly up there in the attic?
    Or would Jesus be taken down and hidden in the Jewish neighbours’ house, so that a few days later, they’d find Jesus?
    So many questions….


      MP says:

      “I’d like to say we gave Our Lord and Savior a green funeral and composted him and planted roses (no thorns — PTSD) but I’m sure he just kind of fell down onto sofa at some point around 4th of July and was callously rolled into a ball and shot into the trash as a 3-pointer. (Have I mentioned those 4 brothers?) And, I’ve sent YOUR list to my mother to ask why she’d not thought of any of these preferable options! I’ve not heard back.”

  3. I know it’s all the rage now to be a recovering Catholic, but as a practicing Catholic I find this story somewhat horrifying, but also kind of sweet. At least her parents were TRYing.

    As a recovering child, I remember everything was drummed into our little brains – religion, math, manners – the theory being that we would have some rules for living until we were old enough to think for ourselves.

    1. Ha! I’ve been thinking about your comment for days; it IS trendy to be a “recovering Catholic,” isn’t it? But wait. Does that mean you’re even MORE trendy, because you didn’t follow the herd?

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