Diners in the cafeteria this past Friday were interrupted by a piercing banshee cry of sorrow from sophomore Marciana McDermott as the very fabric of her romantic situation was torn to shreds before her eyes.
McDermott says she “hadn’t expected a serving of bitter reality to accompany her dinner,” but the proof was in the poster — right there, third row, second from the left.
“It just doesn’t make sense!” McDermott remarked, while reflecting on the traumatic ordeal. “I was in the Port exactly a week ago, and God told me he was the one. Like, what is this? Some sort of joke?”
Prior to the crushing cafeteria incident, the couple had a long and involved history. McDermott recalled fondly their meeting a week prior. “He held the door of the Caf open for me,” she said, “and that’s when I knew.” McDermott either could not or would not elaborate on what exactly she “knew” in that instance, but she noted with tears in her eyes that, “It’s so poetic. It all ended where it began.”
As of publication, McDermott has made it through the first three phases of Female Franny Romantic Grief — getting an ill-advised haircut, crying during noon Mass and discerning into and out of a religious vocation over the course of an hour.
Since the inception of the Priestly Discernment Program, dozens of Franciscan women have fallen helplessly for the deceptively kind eyes and firm handshakes of these young aspiring clergymen, only to be cut down upon glimpse of a stray poster or — perhaps more painful —the distinctive gray Living Stones hoodie.
However, some argue that the women of Franciscan are privileged in this regard. The warning signs of a discerning man are often clear, if shocking, whereas men don’t fare so well when falling for a woman who is considering the religious life.
Junior Fabian Kepler, a self-proclaimed “cursed child” when it comes to the field of romance, bemoans this lack of warning from young women who are thinking of becoming nuns.
“You talk to them for months, everything is normal, then they just disappear one weekend and you find out they’ve been to a visiting weekend for the Sisters of the Immaculate Charity of Perpetual Flaming Hearts,” he said. “It’s so unfair. Why does God snatch all the good ones?”
God does, indeed, have a history of “snatching all the good ones,” as many of St. Augustine’s girlfriends could likely attest. And though her name is lost to history, we mustn’t forget that poor first-century Jewish girl who had a crush on Jesus in middle school.
Where the Lord bestoweth charisma, the women do flock. The story may be an old one, yet the wounds feel fresh with each fallen heart.
Although McDermott initially swore that she would “never love again,” she’s managed to maintain an inspiring, almost supernatural level of hope. After all, she said, “He could just be discerning incorrectly. Even perfect, beautiful men make mistakes when listening to the will of God.”
She entreats readers to remember her in prayer during her time of desolation.