My current Xavier class has the potential to be my best course thus far at the university. The professor is a retired Jesuit priest who is incredibly informational and conversational. But as it's my first class taught by a priest, I'm finally faced with a dilemma I've been contemplating for some time: what would I call him? Despite not sporting the priestly collar/uniform, he still has the prefix "Father" before his name.
Being raised a good Protestant boy, I was taught the words of Jesus in Matthew 23 that you were not to call any man "Father." And even though I've realized for some time now that the context of that passage deals with the Pharisee leaders who cherished earthly titles to the point of abuse, and it is really not forbidding the Roman Catholic clergy title, it still made me feel awkward to the point of avoidance. Blame it on my upbringing. I've interacted with priests before, but was able to maintain communication by adhering to strictly generic pronouns. I could have tried that with my professor, but six weeks of class-time just seemed like too long to keep up. So last week I finally broke it out for the first time and posed a question to "Father Bracken." Not sure if I'll ever get used to it.
Of course, at Echo, I love it when they call me "Big Papa."