Adventures in Preaching! And another, far more important event.

This is both smile and face-palm inducing at the same time.

I picked this up from Church Militant.

It seems that Bishop Donald Hanchon played a ukulele in the pulpit of Assumption Grotto in Detroit during a Confirmation Mass last Tuesday.

I’ve visited Assumption Grotto quite a few times.  I’ve been celebrant there a number of times for their exceptional orchestral Masses.  It is a highly traditional parish with high-church liturgy and high-quality music.  It is about the last place on earth that it would occur to me to see a ukulele.

The organist there, however, hurried to the aid of the bishop!  He helpfully jumped in with stops pulled out to accompany the ukulele ditty.  Just lending a hand, you know.

It must have been both amusing and perhaps a little awkward for everyone, especially for all ukulele fans among the young confirmands.

But wait!   You can see it for yourselves over there… there’s video.


There is an event coming up at Assumption Grotto which, if you are anywhere in the area, you must plan to attend.  HERE

My friend, Fr. Aidan Logan, from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, is giving a talk.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I used to live n the Archdiocese of Detroit, and my impression was/is that Bishop Hanchon is impossible to pigeonhole – he was pastor of a Hispanic parish for a long time and he could be folksy on occasion, but he’s also celebrated Pontifical Masses for Juventutem Michigan (see, e.g.: and has apparently done so with great reverence and care for the liturgy.

  2. anilwang says:

    Even if this was done after mass in the parish hall of a liberal parish, does the bishop seriously think confirmation kids would appreciate “This little light of mine”? … and they wonder why teens drift away from the Church.

    If you’re going to sing a pop secular Christian song to teens, there are far better choices that appeal to teens and are relevant to confirmation.

  3. Elizabeth D says:

    That reminds me of the guy who cut down Mary Poppins.

  4. momoften says:

    Was it Assumption Grotto, or St Cyrils and Methodius? I thought St Cyrils, but it is possible both?
    I had a friend who went to Confirmation Services she said at St Cyrils that it had happened….

  5. APX says:


    There are reports that the bishop does this at every Confirmation Mass.

    I guess it could have been worse, he could have also been wearing Hawaiian vestments.

  6. What next, Arthur Godfrey? I know they’ll say that his name starts with “God,” but really, now.

  7. Jackie L says:

    How did he ever get that through the door without someone advising against it?

  8. robtbrown says:

    Ukulele Ike. (I wonder how many know who he was.)

  9. rakowskidp says:

    That was my daughter’s confirmation Mass. He did the same thing at Ss C&M as he did at Grotto. It was rather unfortunate, to say the least.
    Fr. Perrone is such a great gift to the Church!

  10. VexillaRegis says:

    The organist did a really good job and it was very clever of him to play that musical tail, thus blocking the bishop from singing more verses! Next time someone needs to switch off the microphone when this prelate picks up his nasty ukulele.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Logan’s talk sounds interesting. Fr. Z, perhaps a post after this event?

  12. robtbrown says:

    No one seemed to know or be interested in Ukulele Ike, but everyone has heard him sing

  13. RichR says:

    How iconic a moment. Just like what Stephen Colbert did with “King of Glory”, this song will never be able to be played again without smiles in the congregation.

  14. Gerard Plourde says:

    I’m sorry but I think this is a case where two wrongs don’t make a right. The bishop should have refrained from his usual practice of including the ukulele solo in his homily. (Since I don’t know any of the individuals involved I have no way of knowing if the bishop would have refrained if asked by the pastor or if the pastor felt able to make that kind of suggestion to to his ecclesiastical superior.)

    At the same time, I don’t think the organist’s protest was appropriate. While the musical choice of the bishop was unfortunate and probably targeted to a much younger age group, the message the he was conveying was not heretical. Our Lord Himself admonished us not to put the light of our faith under a bushel basket. For a member of the parish staff to show obvious disrespect (albeit in the face of behavior that was likely to be upsetting for the hosts) in the context of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass troubles me. It escalated a faux pas to a confrontation. It saddens me that the organist apparently thought his protest more important than offering up the small cross and engaging in silent prayer for patience and for the well-being of the bishop in the Presence of God.

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