I love this bar.

Ecclesiology is the study of the nature of the Church. Whole courses are taught on just this one subject alone. Instead of teaching you a course or synthesizing the material into a short Tassel, I would rather reflect on the country music singer Toby Keith's classic, I Love This Bar. The song speaks to the make of what the Body of Christ is. Just replace ‘bar’ with ‘church’.

We got winners, we got losers,
Chain smokers and boozers.

The lyrics continue about the various types of people who go to this bar: brokenhearted fools, suckers, blue collar boys, rednecks. All are welcome into the Church, whether you are a sinner (most of us) or a saint (well, actually, most of us). It is somewhat to the point Christ was making when he gave us the parable about the dragnet. “The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind.” We are not all the same in the Catholic Church. We come from different ethnic backgrounds and have differing political views. Some prefer one style of music or worship to another; some have different experiences of God.

Finally, the vibe of this country song is what we should strive to achieve. Everyone should not only feel welcome into a Catholic parish, they should love to go to it. It's my prayer that people would hum these lyrics about St. Juliana:

I love this bar,
It's my kind of place.
Just walk in through the front door,
Puts a big smile on my face.
It ain't too far, come as you are.
Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm, I love this bar

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