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A Catholic priest, a Baptist preacher, and a rabbi all served as

chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University in

Marquette . They would get together two or three times a week

for coffee and to talk shop.

One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't

really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a

bear. One thing led to another, and they decided to do an

experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear,

preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their


Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and

had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first. 'Well,'

he said, 'I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I

found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that

bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around.

So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary

Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb. The bishop is

coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.'

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one

arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best

fire-and-brimstone oratory, he claimed, 'WELL, brothers, you

KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear.

And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But

that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and

we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and

DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him

and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became

as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus.'

The priest and the reverend both looked down at the rabbi, who

was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction

with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in

really bad shape.

The Rabbi looked up and said, 'Looking back on it, circumcision

may not have been the best way to start.'

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"You learn to love, not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an 
imperfect person perfectly."
Amy Billman
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