Friday, March 07, 2008

The Papal...Skateboard?

Oh my...can't....stop....laughing. I know that there is probably a really good intention behind this, but they youth of the Archdiocese of New York are giving Pope Benedict a skateboard. Yes, a skateboard. Giving Pope John Paul II a skateboard would have made sense, but Pope Benedict? No way!

If you are between the ages of 11 -18 and live in the Archdiocese of New York, you are eligible to submit your artwork to the Papal Skateboard Art Design contest. The winner will recieve three tickets to the Youth Rally at St. Joseph's Seminary.

The winner will be commissioned to design the artwork of the Official Papal Skateboard, a gift to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI from the youth of the Archdiocese of New York.
Contestants are limited to the use of only four (4) colors: Papal Gold, Black, White and Red. One winner will be determined by a panel of judges based on creativity and originality. The use of symbols such as the Papal Visit Logo, Papal Crest, and the motto "CHRIST OUR HOPE" are highly encouraged. The winner’s design will be used to decorate the convex side (bottom side) of the Papal Skateboard.

Check out the contest site for more info and an entry form.

I still can't stop laughing at the idea of giving Pope Benedict a skateboard. Between the skateboard and the big stick that President Bush gave him, he is going to wonder what Americans are thinking.

UPDATE: The Pope2008 blog has a take on this which I am embarassed to admit that I missed. The possibility for marketing these papal skateboards as souvenirs. Hmmm, I think it might work.

UPDATE 2: Ok, after watching the videos of the students and the priest who made all this happen I don't think it is as silly as I originally did. Don't count me in with the converted yet, I still can't get over the mental image of a skateboarding Pope Benedict, but I have softened to the idea of the gift.


Anonymous said...

What a great way to encourage children to participsate in this momentous occaision. The church is and alive.

DominiSumus said...

I am all for encouraging children to participate, but I still say there had to be a better option.

Christopher Blosser said...

A lot of people ridiculed President Bush for giving the Pope the "big stick", but there's a story to it that might change your mind. See: Gift or Gaffe?: Why Bush Gave Benedict a Walking Stick, by Wayne Laugesen. National Catholic Register June 24-30, 2007 Issue -- on the carved walking stick that President Bush presented the Pope on the occasion of his first visit, inscribed with the Ten Commandments:

The stick was designed and carved by Roosevelt Wilkerson, a man who lived on the streets of Dallas with his wife until a good friend of George and Laura Bush discovered his craft and began helping him sell the carvings, known as Moses Sticks. [...]

Nowlin met Wilkerson in 1997 at a craft class at her church, First Presbyterian of Dallas, and later decided she wanted to buy one of his sticks. She asked around, and ended up tracking Wilkerson down by shouting his name in a rough area of southeast Dallas.

Nowlin and Wilkerson struck up a friendship, and she agreed to try selling the sticks. They devised a plan in which Wilkerson would carve sticks, Nowlin would sell them for $75 each, and proceeds would help Wilkerson and his wife rent an efficiency apartment and get off the street.

The first stick Nowlin bought was given to her pastor. Subsequently, she gave a stick to then-Gov. Bush because she knew he cared about the homeless and the poor — and the Ten Commandments. Greeting Nowlin for a luncheon at the governor’s mansion, Laura Bush told her that Gov. Bush considered his Moses Stick “the greatest gift ever.” [...]

In preparing for the Vatican visit, Bush contacted Nowlin about acquiring a stick so the White House protocol office could review it as a possible gift for Pope Benedict XVI. Wilkerson and his wife haven’t been homeless for most of the past 10 years because of the Moses Sticks, but Nowlin says it hasn’t been easy. Sometimes, sales have been slow.

“I needed to sell at least seven sticks a month, if they were to stay off the street,” Nowlin said. “When orders were slow, Roosevelt and I would pray. We would just pray and pray and pray and the orders would come in.”

As a result of the president’s gift to the Pope, Nowlin said she and Wilkerson can’t keep up. She has raised the price of the sticks to $100, but says she could probably charge $1,000 or more and still have a backlog of orders.

DominiSumus said...

I know the story of the big stick and while it did a great deal to help the man who made it still wasn't the best way to present American culture. Plus, it had the Protestant version of the 10 commandments. A little research would prevent these slip ups, like calling the Pope, "Sir".

Christopher Blosser said...

Well, thank God we have a Pope who is magnanimous enough not to hold it against our ignorant president for bestowing him a Protestant walking stick and call him "sir."

DominiSumus said...

Absolutely! ;-)

Actually, if President Bush thought that was the greatest gift ever, who can argue with that.

He did what he thought was best, and I disagree.

Christopher, apparently you and I disagree as well. It's a matter of taste, just like some people like country music and some people don't.

Anonymous said...

THE LIMITED EDITION OFFICIAL PAPAL SKATEBOARD ON SALE NOW! Buy this numbered board before they sell out! Proceeds to benefit inner city retreats and recreation programs. Goto