Congratulations Newly Ordained Fr. Tim Ferguson!

I was in Marquette, MI on Friday for the priestly ordination of a frequent commentator and parodohymnodist here, Fr. Timothy Ferguson.  His road to the priesthood was 29 years long!  As he quipped: “thirty less one”.

He sent a note about and photos of his First Mass. He wrote:

I preached myself – briefly, and rather emotionally, but I think the gratitude got across. A few rubrical blips, but Matthew Hill was a great MC. It’s a lot different practicing and actually offering the Sacrifice. The profundity of it hit me during the offertory – and I think Bishop Doerfler’s line from the ordination homily about looking into the chalice at the time of consecration and seeing ourselves immersed in and reflected in the Blood of Christ is something I will carry with me always.

First Mass homily

First Mass Elevation

For those of you newcomers here, Fr. Ferguson wrote the now oldie, but cherished “O Come, O Come Liturgical Blue” and many others, including the hit single that prompted legendary urban rapper Zuhlio to come out of retirement, “Lady Tambourine Priest“.  Oddly, in that one, he sounds rather like Dylan from back in 1965. And don’t forget “Where Have All The Sisters Gone?

In honor of his position as official parodohymnodist, Fr. Ferguson, after his ordination, gave me a gift, which I now share with you.   My very own blue chasuble Christmas ornament.


One of the things I gave him for his ordination was a set of the travel altar cards. HERE  A great gift for the newly ordained who are traditionally inclined.

Let’s have a couple of Fr. Ferguson’s tunes.

There are more, but that’s enough for a sample.

Fr. Ferguson, who is a canonist, has been assigned to St. Peter’s Cathedral in Marquette.  Those people are very fortunate.  Father is learnéd, highly amusing, truly faithful.

Father also knows the Extraordinary Form.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Fr. Z KUDOS, Mail from priests, Parody Songs, Priests and Priesthood and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. yatzer says:

    And these are classics, every one.
    Are they perchance in a collection somewhere? They make me laugh, a good thing.

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    Congratulations, Fr. Tim!
    I laughed throughout my coffee. Those are great. It must have been really fun to make those.

  3. wanda says:

    Congratulations, Fr. Ferguson. May God bless you. I love the ornament, that’s awesome.

  4. Peggy R says:

    Congrats to Fr Ferguson. That’s funny stuff!

    Please honor another priest. The great Pere Pierre-Jean DeSmet’s statue is removed from public sight at St Louis U, the university he helped found. The dimwitted sensitive study body decided he represented white supremacy and evil colonialism. The lay administration acceded to these stupid uninformed, willful children.

  5. jameeka says:

    That’s a pretty great chasuble ornament–what is the symbolism at the bottom, may I ask?

  6. Bea says:

    Congratulations to Fr. Ferguson

    What a beautiful day for his first Mass: Queenship of Mary and St. Joan of Arc.
    What a joy for family and friends.

    Ad Multos annos.

  7. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Multos Annos to Fr. Ferguson .

    It’s always nice when one doesn’t have to strain to make out the lyrics – which, really appeal to my personal taste in humour – I’d call them killer funny.

    I’ve done some really crazy things in my life (really crazy) . However , I would’ve hesitated on using an Age-Old Hymn so rich in, well . . . tradition written in medieval times which also served as a teaching tool of the faith for the so many who did not have bibles , for the base of a parody.

    One doesn’t encounter that problem when parodying Hey Mister Tambourine Man, because the original material isn’t a hymn. But any time one tries to go Weird Al Yankovic on Hymns – particularly hymns like O Come O Come Emmanuel, one runs the risk of offending the faith and beliefs of some fellow Catholics. Perhaps the point is better illustrated in the form of a question:

    What’s the big difference between making a funny parody out of O Holy Night, or Silent Night, or Hail Holy Queen . . . or out of O Come O Come Emmanuel . . . or even out of Tantum Ergo ( the Subject in Tantum Ergo is the same Person as in O Come O Come Emmanuel)?

    One definitely doesn’t want to lose the lyrics to Liturgical Blue – they’re hilarious . But if one were to , say, take that particular arrangement of it out of circulation for the sake of true believers – so as not to offend the faith of others inadvertently, I would be inclined to think it would provide a much better environment for the talent to flourish in . . . kind of like pruning a plant to allow for much more growth. I bet doing a little thing like that might just end up providing a wealth of new growth.

    . . . only my limited opinion.

    . . . Really glad we have one more priest.

    God bless you Father Tim.

  8. DeGaulle says:

    Congratulations to Father Ferguson. The musical references are hilarious. I think it important to note, as a fan of nearly forty years, that the bard of Minnesota professes a quite rugged Christianity nowadays. It might not be Catholic-although he has taken to singing about Our Lady in his most recent albums-but it is a lot more Christian than most modern “Catholics” seem to believe.

  9. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    Those liturgical dancers?! Oh, wait… they’re only angels. Phew.

  10. paladin says:

    Who’s playing the instruments? In addition to Fr. Tim’s fine voice (which I knew, already), the accompanying instrumentalists were *very* good!

  11. Fr. John says:

    Congratulations Fr. Ferguson! You are missed down here in the AOD!

  12. excalibur says:

    Congratulations, Father Ferguson!

    Peggy R, that is the new strife, attacks on “white privilege”. I am afraid there is now no turning back for America, Obama and his legacy are the straw that broke the camel’s back. He and those who raised him from obscurity learned the lessons well from Lenin / Stalin / Mao.

  13. The Masked Chicken says:

    Congratulations to Fr. Ferguson. Might I suggest assuming a nom-d’Internet for your parody hymnology? After all, Mnsr. Ronald Knox, an excellent mystery story writer was forbidden to write mystery stories by his bishop.

    The Chicken

  14. Veritatis Splendor says:

    Congratulations Father! Your vocation story sounds very interesting. Would you care to share?

  15. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Yes, the line from the bishop about “looking into the chalice at the time of consecration and seeing ourselves immersed in and reflected in the Blood of Christ” arrested everyone in our pew. It was terrific, something priests get to see, and we don’t. And I’m fine with that. btw, Pater, tried to connect with you after the Mass, but missed you! Rats.

    [Perhaps at the canon law conference?]

  16. Suburbanbanshee says:


    Contrafactum is a very old tradition in both song lyrics and in melody. Reverence for a song in its original form doesn’t mean that you can’t play with it in a new form. Indeed, new songwriters usually begin to write songs by writing parodies or new words to the melody of a particularly beloved song. Many of the great Latin hymns are contrafacta of older great Latin hymns. The oldest notated song in English, “Sumer is icumen in,” has an alternate sacred set of words.

    Fr. Tim Ferguson is not lacking in reverence. He is playful, which Aquinas notes is good for resting the mind and soul.

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