Man who hasn’t been to church in two months attends Ash Wednesday mass to maintain Catholic accreditation

Man who hasn't been to church in two months attends Ash Wednesday mass to maintain Catholic accreditationDon Kiebels

A local man beat the eternal buzzer today when he attended Ash Wednesday services at St. Theresa of Avila in the Faubourg.

After two months of not attending church and almost letting his faith lapse, Garden District resident Tommy McGillis has renewed his Catholic accreditation.

“I may not be timely, but it’s all a part of the big plan,” McGillis said.

According to the Catholic Church, accreditation is good for two months at a time which means worshippers, while encouraged to attend mass at least once a week, can go up to 60 days before renewing membership or the status will be changed from “active” to “suspended.” A suspended membership can cause significant issues if the individual happens to die and tries to enter heaven.

“My Catholiciness is incredibly important to me. I look forward to Ash Wednesday every year because it’s the only day you can go to church the absolute bare minimum during the year but look like you’re a full-time regular,” McGillis said referring to getting the iconic ashes applied to the forehead.

“The membership office can get overwhelmed on Ash Wednesday updating membership accounts, so I made sure to get several inspection ashes just to make sure there was no confusion, especially after God pulled all his guardian angels out of New Orleans. I don’t want to take the chance of going to the pearly gates and having some kind of misunderstanding.”