The announcement in the diocesan newspaper seemed too good to be true: the religion teacher at a prominent Catholic high school lecturing on the Bible for the next five weeks at a nearby church. I checked the Sunday bulletin of the church but could not find mention of the lecture series. Rather, I saw information about another adult education series geared towards catechist formation and certification. Never could a parish maintain adequate participation in two, simultaneous adult ed. programs!
Suspicious, I called the number in the paper for more information. I didn't recognize that the prefixes for the contact numbers were Red Bank and Eatontown, respectively. The woman who answered passed me off to another woman who immediately asked my name and said she'd not heard of me before and had I attended any previous sessions? I said no. She asked my parish and town and I gave it proudly, expecting her to have heard of them because it is so close. She denied ever having heard of my town or parish! I was utterly dejected.
Then I got an inkling as to the problem, remembering that there are two (at least two) parishes in the diocese with the same name. She was already saying that she had sent an email to the newspaper about printing the announcement incorrectly. "They even put the street address, '251 Franklin.' How did they ever come up with that?!" I knew the address well.
But, the thing is, I'm accustomed to driving considerable distances to attend lectures. Just about anything in the four-county diocese is ... and always has been ... fair game. What turned me off, then, since I am so conditioned, was her rapid discouragement, "I don't even know where that [Perrineville] is, so, no, it's too far for you to travel."
Of course she's correct but should she tell me my business?