ACMPress – CHICAGO – Local man Sherman Gephardt attended the 9:30 AM Mass this past Sunday at Our Lady of Perpetual Clapping without his constant companion next to him in the pew – Terror Daemonum, his golden lab emotional support dog. Moments before Mass began, the parish pastor and the head of ushers had informed him “TD” couldn’t be admitted into the church.
“They just don’t understand,” Sherman told ACMPress. “I can’t get through all the liturgical abuses without TD by my side. I have a doctor’s note and everything.”
As he said this, a troupe of liturgical dancers flitted down the main aisle during the processional hymn Gather Us In. Sherman’s hands began to visibly shake.
“Man, if only TD were here,” he said, his voice quavering. “What am I gonna do when the congregation applauds the altar boys, the music ministry, the lectors, and the ‘who’s having a birthday this week?’ announcement before the final blessing?”
The head of ushers told ACMPress that animals are strictly prohibited from entering the nave. “Hey, if we let emotional support dogs in today, it’ll be emotional support ferrets tomorrow, and emotional support alpacas the day after that. Heaven forbid someone bring a kangaroo here a month from now! I mean, we’re tolerant, but not that tolerant.”
“Oh no,” Sherman groaned, twisting a missalette in his hands as Parish Administrator Ruth Weiller approached the lectern to deliver the homily. “I don’t know if I’m gonna make it.”
When asked why he doesn’t attend Mass at a better parish, he replied: “You must be new here, pal. This is Chicago. There are no better parishes.”
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