For clergy and consecrated religious, Halloween can often be an irritating day. It is not uncommon for priests, brothers, and sisters to receive such compliments as, "Cool costume!" It is also not uncommon to receive questions such as, "Are you really a nun?"
Though Halloween may be more than a month away yet, yesterday two different employees in two different gas stations in two different towns both asked me, "Are you a priest?" Since I was wearing my collar, I thought the answer might be rather obvious, but apparently it was not.
The question caught me off guard both times and I am not quite sure what to make of it. It could mean that my brother priests and I need to wear our collars more often in public so people become more accustomed to seeing them. It might also mean I should start a ministry to gas station employees. Time will tell.