Our reporter Caspian Douglas has sat down with Father Ocampo of the local Catholic Church to talk about the state of our town, as well as many other intriguing stories.
What our reporter assumed would be the normal routine of a priest enraged at the newly appointed mayor attending events where young women flaunt their bodies, as indicated by a proceeding phone call to set up the interview, turned into something with a bit more flavour. And although the wet t-shirt contest in question was indeed discussed, this motorcycle riding dog and cat loving Father of the church had so much more to share.
Father Ocampo was transferred to Clifton Forge to restore the Christian Faith in our community three months ago, and confesses to only one sin. Over eating. Besides this sin, and the already mentioned love for animals, the priest, who has served for about twenty years at this point in time is perhaps best described as an old man with a young, vivid mind. He describes himself as a fan of Christian rock music, and, he points out, just a person like everyone else. This is what he wants others to see when he meets his congregation. Someone who is just like them.
A well meaning and good natured, understanding man, the Father says that although he has met many Christians in Clifton Forge, very few actually come to visit the Church itself. Something he attributes to millennials and their way of thinking and using the internet to connect to each other, rather than to meet in a quote “Stuffy old building”. For these reasons, Father Ocampo has focused on meeting people outside of the Church as well. He gives as an example how he loves to debate with one of the young men working at Roady’s, and how he feels he in this way has a part in helping him sort out his life. He wants people to see that not only is he, but also god, there to listen, talk and debate, and points out that now more than ever does the Catholic Church need to listen to young people and work with them, more than to stick to their old ways and shun them. As long as it doesn’t harm others.
The father wants to thank all of Clifton Forge for the love and prayers and all the donations and work put in to keep the congregation working, and to connect with the young people out there, suggests using the hashtag #prayforclifton , although our reporter, who is openly agnostic, remains to this date a little uncertain in what context. It might even have been an attempt at a joke by the jolly old man. But who knows, as they say God works in mysterious ways.
After much talking, among which our reporter was kindly invited to come and visit the church, which he regretfully has not yet managed to do, some prayer and discussions of love the interview at last found its way to the topic of which the father had wanted to come and talk about. The state of the town and our new Mayor.
After drinking some of the water offered by our reporter and clearing his throat, the priest went on to say this about our new Mayor:
“Now about this new mayor, I find it troubling that while our own Clifton businesses are getting attacked. Including the lovely Sumaya Abdi, who i will mention gave me the most amazing bath soap i’ve ever had. Has not once come out and made a public statement on these attacks. Instead he has been supported by nightclubs, and doing wet T-shirt contests. Spraying young women who had no intent to participate in it. I have come here to beg our mayor, please your city needs you. Be a proper example, do what you said you would in your campaign, I have yet to see one public outing of you making Clifton cleaner. Yet when you said there was nothing out of the ordinary regarding the levels of crime in our city. Yet we have masked criminals still on the loose!”
“For the rest of you out there. I will pray for you, and support you. We should all go visit Suds, and help a young business out while they are recovering from the damages to their store.”
As the interview was about to wrap up however, and talk turned briefly to the crime levels in town, it all took a turn toward the strange. With our reporter briefly mentioning an interview in which he spoke to Special Agent Alex Smith about the raid on the Tavola Calda, it seemed the priest was at once convinced of some sort of conspiracy against him, where actor Mr Hugo Weaving would be in town, made up as his character Agent Smith from the Matrix movie franchise. The priest did seem very excited about the prospect of meeting the actor and get his autograph, as well as to perhaps get to hear a line from one of his movies, in person.
It turns out Father Ocampo is also a huge fan of the Matrix, and has even written some online fanfiction on the character Neo, and how he is very much like that of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately however our reporter could not offer the old priest the opportunity to meet neither Neo, Agent Smith or Hugo Weaving in person. But who knows, with events that are about to unfold in town over the coming month, who might show up? Of this can only be said, that God works in mysterious ways.