That ol’ time religion

Our friend Fr. Ray Blake over in Brighton has a wonderful photo:

I saw this in a sacristy over the summer, and was impressed! There is nothing quite like old time religion.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tim Ferguson says:

    Is that the clerical sequel to Arsenic and Old Lace?

    Is there a crazy old monsignor upstairs who thinks that he’s Pope Liberius digging the foundation of St. Mary Major?

  2. Sylvia says:

    I don’t get it . . . why would you need poison in a sacristy?

  3. Bob says:

    To keep liturgists away?

  4. ekurlowa says:

    In our sacristy was found nail polish. After guesses we have known, that it was nessesary for making Pashal candle.
    But poison?

  5. AJP says:

    Maybe rat poison?

  6. Ray from MN says:

    Birettas and Fish? (poisson?)

    What would fish be doing there?

  7. Raymundus says:

    “Every pastor chants a sad, sad song / every rose has its thorn!”

    Maybe it’s supposed to be Biretta and Poison…?

  8. TJM says:

    Father Z, please let us in on this. This must be some kind of inside joke. Tom

  9. Kradcliffe says:

    Maybe it’s a misspelling of “Beretta” and the drawer was for weapons?

  10. TJM: You’ll have to ask Fr. Blake.

  11. Kradcliffe says:

    Well… it may be exactly what it says. They may just keep the rat poison and the birettas in the same drawer. Odd.

  12. Scott W. says:

    What’s the closet labeled? “Chasubles & Assault Rifles”?

  13. Eric G says:

    Was this Guy Fawkes’s parish?!

  14. Jane Fulthorpe says:

    No it’s a strategy to ensure that no vermin infest clerical ”upper storeys’.

  15. Jane Fulthorpe says:

    Unless it’s a ‘liberal’ parish, in which case it’s their mission statement.

  16. Emilio III says:

    From Fr Blake’s blog:

    Sacristy spy said… The sacristy is that of the Oxford Oratory. The poison is real poison, used for killing rats. The birettas are real birettas, used for…well, covering the head. Why are these two items stored together? Well, why not?!

  17. Eamon says:

    Maybe they kill the rats with the poison and cover up the body with the biretta.

    Or maybe it’s misspelled…”Poison & Berettas”

  18. Hoka2_99 says:

    Well, it’s obvious. The poison is the priest’s secret bottle of the “hard stuff”, which was hidden in a biretta. As in “What’s your poison?” – traditional English for “What would you like to drink?”

  19. Jane Fulthorpe says:

    Eugenio III: As I said to Kradcliffe, it’s a protective strategy. Kill the rats before thy get under priests’ hats.
    God bless.

  20. pdt says:

    Perhaps one biretta was a “gift” from a German friend.

  21. Maureen says:

    It’s the drawer with the lock, and it’s big enough for hats. Sheeeesh.

  22. Anne says:

    The names on the label listed the most important and more frequently used items in the drawer. #1 Biretta and #2 Poison.

  23. John Enright says:

    Just a case of bad spelling. It should read “Bruschetta and poisson.” It is a lunch order!

  24. John Enright says:

    On second thought, it’s the drawer for the “Rat in the Hat.”

  25. Make me a Spark says:

    Personally this one is my favorite of all the explanations here:


    if there were any Jesuits around, well…. ;-)

  26. Make me a Spark says:

    That was supposed to say my fav is this one:

    What’s the closet labeled? “Chasubles & Assault Rifles”?

    and then the Jesuit remark

  27. Fr Ray Blake says:

    Fr Z, thanks as always fot nice spike in my stats.
    As Emillio III reports it is from the Oxford Oratory. It is I am sure a bit of gentle Philipine humour to mix birettas and poison. I am interested in the suggestion that there is the connection with the contents of the drawer and the Jesuits.

    Agatha Christie, and your readers, might be able to connect the contents of this drawer with the fact that the Oratorians built up a flourishing congregation (about a thousand at Mass) after the Jesuits gave up the church (about a hundred and fifty coming when they left).

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