Episode 3: Holy fools and clowns (30 min.)
"We'd have a far different church, if they had a court jester sitting at the foot of the papal throne making wish cracks at some of those solemn pronouncements," Fr. Hays tells Tom Fox. Fr. Hays continues talking about his books, one of which was mimeographed and shared clandestinely behind the Iron Curtain and another of which was read over the radio in Hong Kong.
Fr. Hays concludes the interview with this thought: "Any dream worth giving your life for that you can see in your lifetime isn't worth giving your life for. So you're always living out a dream, a hope, an aspiration, that you won't see, but if it's a great one and it's worth your life, then it's worth it."
Learning to pray
After 10 years of being a priest, Fr. Ed Hays approached his archbishop to ask for a three-month sabbatical. His plan was to spend the time in a Trappist monastery. Much to Hay's surprise, Archbishop Ignatius Strecker wasn't keen on the idea. "Three months isn't long enough," Hays recalls the archbishop saying. "Wander around the world and pray with all kinds of people, that's the way to learn how to pray," Strecker said. That set Hays on to 40-year odyssey.
Read Tom Fox's profile of Fr. Ed Hays in the Dec. 21 issue of National Catholic Reporter: