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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Jesuits in Humor


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I am the product of a Jesuit education. For those of you who don’t know what that means, check out the work of Bob Newhart who has been similarly twisted by years in Jesuit classrooms.

For those who have never had contact with Catholic education, high school and college Catholic programs are often administered by orders of priests and nuns. Generally, each of these religious orders was founded by an individual who placed his or her own mark upon their order. The Franciscans were started by St. Francis of Assisi, the Benedictines by St. Benedict, and the Jesuits by St. Ignatius Loyola, for example.

Each order lives under a “rule”, takes certain “vows” and/or has certain aims, goals or traditions. Jesuits for example, live under poverty, chastity and obedience and serve the pope. Their specialty is education and Jesuit Schools are also among the finest schools in the world.

Naturally, with all these different orders running around for centuries, there are bound to be a few jokes as well! Here are some ones featuring Jesuits. Not always to their advantage.

JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to found colleges with good basketball teams. (from "A Catholic Dictionary")

There are three things that even God does not know about the Church:

1. How many congregations of religious women are there?
2. How much money do the Franciscans have stashed away?
3. What are the Jesuits going to do next?

The Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits were having a big meeting that went well into the middle of the night. Suddenly all the lights went out in the meeting room. The Franciscans immediately took out guitars and sang songs, while the Dominicans began preaching; but the Jesuits went to the basement, found the fuse box and reset the breaker.

Two Jesuit novices both wanted a cigarette while they prayed. They decided to ask their superior for permission. The first asked, but was told no. A little while later he spotted his friend smoking. "Why did the superior allow you to smoke, but not me?" he asked. His friend replied, "Because you asked if you could smoke while you prayed, and I asked if I could pray while I smoked!"

A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Franciscan were walking along an old road, debating the greatness of their orders. Suddenly, an apparition of the Holy Family appeared in front of them, with Jesus in a manger and Mary and Joseph praying over him.

The Franciscan fell on his face, overcome with awe at the sight of God born in such poverty.

The Dominican fell to his knees, adoring the beautiful reflection of the Trinity and the Holy Family.

The Jesuit walked up to Joseph, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, "So, have you thought about where to send the boy to school?"

An Augustinian, a Franciscan, and a Jesuit all die and get to heaven. Jesus asks each one, "If you could go back, what would you change"?

The Augustinian ponders a while and says, "There's so much sin in the world. If I went back, I'd try and stop people from sinning so much."
The Franciscan thinks a bit and says, "There's so much poverty in the world. If I went back, I'd try and get people to share more of their wealth with the poor."
The Jesuit looks at Jesus and quickly replies, "If I went back, I'd change my doctor."

(For this next joke it’s helpful to know that Jesuits live on a strict vow of poverty, last time I checked it their budget for incidentals, shaving cream, etc. was $25 a month, might be up to $50 now)

A Franciscan gets a haircut, and then asks how much he owes. The barber says he never charges clergy. The Franciscan thanks the barber and goes home. The next morning the barber finds a big basket of fresh bread from the Franciscans' kitchens.

An Augustinian gets his hair cut by the same barber. The barber also tells him than he never charges clergy. So, the next day the barber receives a nice bottle of wine from the Augustinians' wine cellar.

A Jesuit gets his haircut, and the barber again says that he never charges clergy. The next day, when the barber gets to work, there are twelve other Jesuits already waiting for him.

One day a local pastor was visiting the home of some parishioners who had a teenage son. The parents were worried about what career their son would choose, so the pastor said he had a simple test that could predict what would become of him.

He would put three objects on a table and let the young man choose whichever one he wanted to have: a Bible, a wallet, and a bottle of scotch. If the boy chose the Bible, he would probably become a priest; if he chose the wallet, he'd be a banker; and if he chose the bottle, he'd become a worthless bum.

So the parents called their son into the room, and the pastor told him he could have whichever object he wished. When the boy promptly picked up all three, the pastor cried out, "Heaven forbid! He's going to be a Jesuit!"

A man has three sons who entered three different religious orders: the oldest became a Dominican, the second a Franciscan, and the youngest a Jesuit. On his deathbed, the father tells his sons, "I know you all have vows of poverty, but as a sign of your love for me, I want each of you to place one thousand dollars into my casket to be buried with me."

On the day of the funeral, the Dominican son steps up, places $1000 in the casket, and says, "This seems like a waste of money, since you can't take it with you, Dad. But with the special permission of my superiors, I'm doing as you requested, as a sign of my love."

Next, the Franciscan son approaches the casket and says, "You know I love you, Dad, but the needs of the poor are so great, I just can't let $1000 be buried with you. I hope you understand, now that you are in heaven. Please forgive me."

Finally, the Jesuit son comes forward and says to his brother, "Don't worry, Frank. I'll pay your share." Then he reaches into the casket, takes the cash left by his eldest brother, and puts in a check for $3000.

(Naturally the money went to the Jesuit Missions where it would be used for those above the ground.)

A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Trappist Monk were marooned on a desert island. They found a magic lamp, and after some discussion decided to rub it. Lo and behold, a genie appeared and offered them three wishes. They decided it was only fair that they could each have one wish. The Jesuit said he wanted to teach at the world's most famous university, and poof, he was gone! The Dominican wished to preach in the world's largest church, and poof, he was gone! Then the Trappist said, "Gee, I already got my wish!"

A Franciscan and a Dominican were debating about whose order was the greater. After months of arguing, they decided to ask for an answer from God when they died. Years later, they met in heaven and decided to go to the throne of God to resolve their old disagreement. God seemed a bit puzzled about the question and told them he would reply in writing a few days later. After much deliberation, God sent the following letter:

My beloved children,

Please stop bickering about such trivial matters. Both of your orders are equally great and good in my eyes.

Sincerely yours,

God, S.J.*

Well, I hope you liked these. For more, try http://catholic-resources.org/ a great source for religious humor.

*A Jesuit might sign his name Fr. Felix Just, S.J. The S.J. standing for Society of Jesus, the full name of the Jesuit order. Fr. Just in fact compiled most of the humor in this post which has been edited and expanded upon in the interest in humanizing the people behind the orders who serve God.

Hope you enjoyed these. If you have your own that you'd like to share, just send them to me at the address below and I would be happy to post them for you.

Peter, Chief Editor and Spell Wrecker
The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire and Commentary

We strive to keep our humor and comments safe for home and work. Some of the links that appear here may not meet our standards. If this appears on a regular basis, please let us know at "thepeterfilesblog dot gmail dot com". Thank You!

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