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Re: "New York's Most Miserable Priest!" What a great profile of a fascinating man. Fr. Mike Lopez is the complex, scarred individual we all are to some degree and he has found a way to turn his experiences into compassionate support for the poor and created warmth and happiness. He is so right, that the Gospel does talk about the poor more than anything. I know many Catholics who would also agree with his approach, but find it hard to fight with the traditionalists. This line says it all: "Mass is less important than the buffet breakfast that follows." Thanks, Anne, for telling us about Fr. Mike. Your eye for detail and your curiosity in people without judgment shines through in your writing.

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Oh wow, thanks for your kind words Renato!

I agree what makes Father Mike stand out is his not just willingness but real passion for helping the people who are right around him! So many of us are more interested in helping folks in other parts of the world, or who have specific difficulties we can specifically relate to. Or who are some fashion interesting to us. Which is fine. But for Father Mike it's just, "You are here and you need my help and that's sufficient."

Also I love communities that truly take all comers—and they are so rare. Most communities are defined by who they exclude. People are so weird!!!

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“The space was much nicer when we opened,” he said, surveying the clutter. “This s— shows up every f—ing place. Booze everywhere, Lysol and Listerine. I have a drawer full of condoms here…” (They’re a donation from a clinic!)"

WOW!! THAT GUY IS MY KIND OF PRIEST!! I wonder if he’d consider transferring to my parish at Saint Pillow and Mattress” They are the patron Saints of the sluggish.

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“After that wedding, my vocation rushed back into my body,” he said.”

You know the EXACT same thing happened to me after my 1st wedding!! My vocation as a flirt, Lothario, no-account and gadabout rushed back into my body!!!

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Laundry room! Cats! Miserable, AMAZING priest! Anne, you’ve covered humanity in all its forms today as every Monday. Post perfection - another incredible read. 😊😊😊

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Aw thank you Rebecca! I like the idea that I covered the whole gamut in one issue. Now I can take a nap!

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Now that is a swanky laundry room! I don't know that non-nyc residents will understand just what a luxury it is to have laundry in your home! And such a nice one at that.

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LOL I am glad you can appreciate, Jillian!

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

*Kidding! Shelly in 6F is the best neighbor I ever had. "

PMP!!!

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Having never lived New York City I thought this was a hilarious little view into the workings of the NYC apartment culture. And I think anyone can appreciate the perfect engineering on that highly Andersonian basket 😂

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Macarena! What a sweetheart 😭🐱

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I KNOW! Could that photo be any cuter? I am DYING!!

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Fabulous, just Fabulous!! What a GREAT sign!! What a GREAT kid!! Macarena!!! I am going to save/share that photo of her pointing to the sign!! Precious!! In a cople of yers I’ll be 72!

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Nice. A very flash laundry! And we have a heap of wonderful Father Mikes over here in Australia too. I live in rural Australia and our local churches are incredible places, providing food pantries, op shops (cheap clothing and goods), community events and support on an ongoing basis. Plus I can absolutely recommend volunteering as a most rewarding pastime. (Sending good vibes to all Americans.)

Thanks Anne. 🤗🤗😘

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What a lovely report from the other side of the globe. So great to hear about this, Beth. Thank you!

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Proud to be one of the 800, and happy that you brought this one out of the archives for the 6,000!

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Honestly Mr. Estrin, you were one of the people who kept me going when things were just crawling along, month after month after month. So thank you for that!

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This is so mutual! In the early days I kept telling myself, well, Anne is laughing, so maybe there’s something to this newsletter thing.

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Wow, Anne, you really find the most interesting, fascinating people! If there were more priests like Father Mike I'd have a more favorable view of organized religion. But wait -- he's NOT part of organized religion, he's too smart to fall for the conventional b.s. Thank you for sharing this story again. Yes, it feels good to do something good. That's why Ayn Rand declared that humans are selfish. What she DIDN'T see because she was a shallow, stupid person is the difference of WHAT feels good to an individual, that's where merit comes in: to some, it feels good to torture kittens or to beat somebody up. To somebody like Father Mike it feels good to help poor people. He gives it away.

Ah, sorry about the Rand rant...

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Thank you Jessica! Yep, Father Mike is one of my favorites for sure. I've got nothing against organized religion myself—I'm actually very heavily involved with a Buddhist tradition that is organized up the wazoo. But whatever your game I think its so important that your priority remains your connection with your higher power or however you'd like to refer to it—and not your connection to the organization. And that can be very hard for people I think! We all, to some extent, want to fit in and gain the approval of our fellows.

HAHA I was so big on Ayn Rand in my 20s and only later came to see that while I would not say she was a bad person, I do think she just got a LOT of stuff wrong. She's just wrong! It's so funny!

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Huh! I don't think of Buddhism so much as being a religion, more being a practice. If Christians and adherents of the other Abrahamic religions would practice what they suposedly believe, the world would be a better place. Maybe I should have said "conventional religion". They FORCE people to believe stuff, what an oxymoron! I don't think Buddhism does that.

I'm glad we agree on Ayn Rand, yes, she's WRONG.

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Yes a cool thing about Buddhism is that it's all about try it for yourself and see what happens!

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“He was a good kid who followed the rules. “In high school, I would date girls, but I'd be like, “We can't f—because I'm gonna be a priest,’” he recalled.”

That is just a fabulous pick-up line! You completely turn the tables on your date…, “We can't f—because I'm gonna be a priest,’”

I mean the girl’s head would be spinning; “What universe are we in??!!” She’s already primed to reject and now all of her plans are out the window!! I mean that line could start a new baby-boom!!

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

To be fair, Old Catholicism is organized, but so much less conservative than the Roman Catholicism, which is why I think it attracts converts and newcomers.

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I should have said "conventional", or as you did: "conservative". I respect any spiritual community which allows for people to think and make up their own minds, regardless of their level of organization 😉.

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I only clarified because I hate when people (not you) make the assumption that he's not a "real" ordained priest.

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

I started to read one of her books and got fed up and closed the book., never to return to it.

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

I’m intrigued by the all-potato diet! Can we learn more about that?

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Hi Jake! I was intrigued too, and wrote a little follow-up on that after the Father Mike profile appeared...

https://annekadet.substack.com/i/48626074/father-mikes-all-potato-diet

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"...if you take health advice from a magician, you’re an asshole. Well, if you take health advice from an unorthodox priest you’re an idiot. But it works!”

Anne, it's not the potatoes; it's the hot sauce!

https://www.livestrong.com/article/282326-hot-sauces-weight-loss/

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Fr. Mike is a dynamic, multi-faceted human being. He is able to serve those who are often forgotten because he remembers we are all connected. Maybe he'd be less miserable if other people in the community followed his lead and helped to uplift their small corners of the neighborhood.

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I agree Vanessa, Father Mike is just a very, very real person and is able to help others because I think he is connected with and accepting of himself. I do think of him as a great example for me.

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“He’d already made it three days without a drink and was 36 hours into his new all-potato diet.’

I mean, a potato diet makes sense…you can fix them so many ways!

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AKA the Kilkenny

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Kilkenny diet? Or Kilkenny from Southpark??

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1840s Ireland -- I love SP but don't remember them killing Kenny over taters

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You know Mark I'm so dense sometimes or most times that the Kilkenny Ireland connection and the connection to potatoes went right by me. The Joke actually hit me when I was sleeping at about 3:00 in the morning ! I find at age 70 I'm more lucid when I'm sleeping ! That was a perfect comment that you made AND a very good joke!

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“The space was much nicer when we opened,” he said, surveying the clutter. “This s— shows up every f—ing place. Booze everywhere, Lysol and Listerine. I have a drawer full of condoms here…” (They’re a donation from a clinic!)

WOW!! THAT GUY IS MY KIND OF PRIEST!! I wonder if he’d consider transferring to my parish at Saint Pillow and Mattress” They are the patron Saints of the sluggish.

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My fave priest from all boys hs -- Marine Corp, volunteer fireman n taught US govt

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Jun 6, 2023·edited Jun 6, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

I had 12 years in Catholic school; coed, thank gawd! I had a panoply of types of priests. I had tough guys like a Dominican priest from Brooklyn who had a space between his teeth that you could drive a school bus through. He was a tough guy. Mostly, as I think back the priests that I had from 1967 to 1971 in high school we're very ecumenical and open-minded with the exception of that tough guy priest from Brooklyn. He was still very old school but he had a great Brooklyn accent and I loved when he'd say, "Yoose guyz."

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The only expression that makes me laugh harder than "Yoose guys" is the Ozark "you-uns" as in are You-uns coming with us? I worked MANY years ago at a scientific company and one of my friends and colleagues was raised in the Ozarks. He was profoundly well educated but whenever he would revert to childhood "you-uns" I smiled.

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That's hilarious!! Right out of The Grapes of Wrath! And Ma And Pa Kettle! When I was born in 1953 Youngstown Ohio was called Little New York because of all the gangsters. When I grew up I talked like I had a Brooklyn accent and I still do and it shows up when I'm dictating like I'm dictating now. I pronounce my th's like d's. I took a job not even 50 miles away in Amish Country but in Ohio and everyone there thought I was from New York, Brooklyn specifically.

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Funny about Youngstown. We lived in Pittsburgh for a bit and I remember the Youngstown mobster vibe. Very similar to Buffalo and the association to Niagara Falls a big mobster town. There's always money in waste removal 😞

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I remember the miserable priest! I guess that must mean I've been with you a long time. Happy Anniversary?

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BA you were for sure one of the very first of the regular commenters! Thank you for that!!!

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Another wonderful post, Anne! And a great reminder of the amazing people out there who are dedicated to helping others.

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Thanks Maura!

Your post just inspired an idea. What if I stopped random people on the street and asked them what sort of volunteer work they do—whether it's formal or just helping a neighbor from time to time? I bet you almost EVERYONE is doing SOMETHING and that a LOT of people are doing A LOT!

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Fantastic Anne! Whenever I briefly listen to the news and feel the anxiety surge in me about all that's going wrong in the world, I take a moment to pause, and reflect on how many people rush to help in emergencies, and those who actively work in service to others, and the kind little acts people do all the time without thinking too much about it. I feel we would have exterminated ourselves as a species many times over if we didn't have this drive to help others deep in our core. Because at least once in our lives someone saved our ass when we really needed it, and we know how important that is to live in a society, and we pay it back to someone else.

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

There are only 3 rules to remember on our road to stardust:

1. Be kind.

2. Be kind.

3. Be kind.

Of course I'm not telling you anything that you don't know already.

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Loved this week's issue. The perfect blend of laundry, cuteness and philosophy.

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So glad you enjoyed Will! It really is a wonderful world, that all this stuff is out there to be written about.

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"laundry, cuteness and philosophy" PERFECT!!

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Jun 6, 2023·edited Jun 6, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

I absolutely love him! And much of what he says aligns with Buddhism. What a kind, decent, resourceful, devoted, funny fucking priest! It's interesting he snubbed the Episcopalians because when the profile began, I was certain that's what he was!

Also: gorgeous laundry room! And in your building! Enjoy!

And: I hope the kitties all find wonderful, loving homes. I'm so glad you called that number. What a great kid to put up those posters. Thank you for helping the cats! Meow!

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Thank you Jane! So glad you got a kick out of Father Mike. I feel like you summed him up perfectly. For me, just knowing he exists makes me happy.

I already heard from one reader who has a barn upstate and is interested in adopting a number of cats. I'll keep everyone posted!

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such a pleasure from the Atomic Laundromat past the google translations to get at cat mystery to Father Mike....what a piece of work, hmmmmm both of you.....thanks

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LOL thank you Appleton! I think I did not realize what a weird grab-bag this issue is until the comments starting coming in.

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Rock on Anne! 🤘🏾

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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

The priest has learned a lot about life and a lot about people. He is not miserable himself, but deals with people who are bordering on being miserable. And he is trying to get them out of some of that misery, which is often part of their outlook on life, which he also says. I hope that he takes enough time for himself to relax so that he doesn't get too overloaded and also that he makes enough time for his children and his wife. This can be a thin line to walk.

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Good insight, Irene! He DID strike me as fellow who could use some down time for sure. I believe this is pretty typical among clergy.

I am also remembering what the prior of a Benedictine monastery told me once: "God's work is never done, so you might as well take a break."

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