"Priests Bake Cookies for Astronauts for Some Reason"
originally printed in
"The Daily Flyleaf"
August 7th, 2011
"YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN - Today in downtown Ypsilanti, priests from around the country gathered at Our Lady of the Sacred Conception Church in order to bake cookies for visiting NASA astronauts.
The astronauts were in the area in order to attend a lecture being given by renowned theoretical physicist David Angle as he revealed several potential new applications of his work to the field of space travel. The astronauts included such luminaries as Michael Hargrove, Gregory Benton, Clint Frasier and Martin Trappe.
During the lecture, the priests gathered at Our Lady of the Sacred Conception's rectory to bake a variety of types of cookies for the visiting adventurers. Father Richard Byrne, who calls Our Lady of the Sacred Conception his home parish, was flabbergasted.
"This wasn't a planned thing. I had invited a couple of friends, also priests, to join me in watching the Michigan versus Ohio State game the other day, and then when we realized that we had the date wrong and there wasn't a game due to the off-season, Father Larry Kildare just suggested we bake some cookies. Father Daniel Fitzpatrick said, 'Hey, you know, I bet those astronauts would really like these.' and we all just sort of agreed with him. I'm not even sure why he thought of it, or why we thought it was such a great idea."
The cleric was particularly confused by the eventual size of the event.
"We had a small disagreement over what to make. I said chocolate chip, Father Larry said peanut butter, and Father Dan said oatmeal. We each called friends for advice, to sort of take a poll to see what most people liked best, you see. Somehow that snowballed and we had all these friends, all fellow priests, stopping by to join us. Before long we had priests showing up from other states, some as far away as Delaware and Montana, and some of these priests didn't know any of us or the people we invited. We can't figure out how it happened or why they showed up."
One such priest, Father John Herriot of Charleston, West Virginia, unconnected to the original group, had this to say:
"I was just preparing for Mass when all of a sudden I feel this incredible urge to travel to Michigan and bake cookies for these astronauts. It's bizarre. I've never even been a fan of astronauts or space travel or any such thing. I've never even baked cookies before in my life. I have no idea what compelled me to do it."
Hundreds of other priests expressed similar sentiments, and no one seemed sure exactly how or why the entire situation arose. If anyone was more confused than the priests, it was the astronauts. Astronaut and avid golfer Michael Hargrove had this to say:
"We were stepping out of the lecture hall when all of a sudden we see what seemed like several hundred Catholic priests just lined up around several blocks, all of them with these huge trays of cookies. At first we thought it was a joke but then it just kind of went on and on, with this huge, awkward silence. The priests seemed embarrassed, like they hadn't really thought it through, and didn't know what to say, and we were feeling odd about it too. Nobody wanted to offend anybody else. I'm not Catholic so I wasn't really familiar with their ways; for a while I thought it was like this typical thing they do, but my Catholic friends are just as stumped as me. We couldn't figure it out. I'm still really confused."
Indeed, many of those who participated in the unexpected, unplanned baking event remain baffled as to the ultimate significance behind it. Some have attributed the unplanned gathering to the influence of the Holy Spirit, while others have taken it as a sign of the End Times, occurring after the recent discovery of beached whales of a previously unknown species washing up all along the east coast, the sudden appearance of what seems to be Leonardo da Vinci's self portrait on the surface of Ganymede, and the bankruptcy of Borders bookstores.
Naturally, far more cookies were produced than the astronauts could consume. While some took extras home for their children, many were left behind. The Catholic Church determined that as many as possible would be given to charity, and the unused remainder would be prepared for a very special Mass to be broadcast from the Vatican via the internet."