Pizza Pops

Before I joined the Legion, one of my favorite lunches was Pillsbury Pizza Pops. They were the best: two minutes in the microwave, two bites of Pizza goodness and a second or third one for good measure. Talking to some Americans, I discovered Pizza Pops, and the competition McCain Pizza Pockets, only exist in Canada so let me describe one. The closest thing I can relate it to is a Hot Pocket or a microwavable burrito; it consists of about a quarter pound of meat, cheese, pizza sauce, and a folded over and sealed pizza shell (another possible description is a microwaveable calzone).

One day, I was eating one in the chaplain’s lounge at the University of Calgary when one of my friends came in and told me that it was good I was considering the Legion because they would teach me how to eat with manners. I thought that there was nothing wrong – you are supposed to eat these with your hands – totally oblivious to the fact that eating a fist-sized item in two bites would not qualify as manners.

After these years in the Legion, I realize my friend was right on the ball. I have learned that if I am going to be another Christ as a Priest, I need to reflect Christ in all aspects: even the most superficial like eating.

Since no one person can reflect Christ fully, each one needs to reflect a part and as Legionaries we focus on Christ’s dignity. We try to show this in how we dress, play, eat, and deal with others. I still eat bites that are a little big at times but I have definitely improved by leaps and bounds. Do you have a story to share about how the Movement or the Legion made a dramatic impact on your human formation?

About Fr Matthew P. Schneider, LC

In 2001, I traveled from Calgary, Canada to join the Legion. Since then I’ve been all over North America and spent some time in Rome. I currently reside in Washington doing a bunch of writing and taking care of the community while studying my Licentiate in Theology (between Masters and Doctorate). I’m most well-known on Instagram and Twitter where I have about 6,500 and 40,000 followers respectively.
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4 Responses to Pizza Pops

  1. Francois M-D says:

    Funny you asked Brother since it was a topic we discussed during one of our RC men’s study circle and which led to qute an animated discussion. Does projecting an appropriate Catholic image mean wearing our hair short, wearing a tie and not wearing jewels? Does it mean that and that? The list of questions seemed to be endless but can be summarized in the following: how can we be ourselves and project that image?

  2. Kristi says:

    I would argue that to project Christ ‘s dignity one not be entirely consumed by the externals, such as whether your bites may be too big or necessitate a particular utensil. Anyone with a basic sense of manners can interact in a simple and dignified way while sharing a meal with others and still project a dignified Christ like example. However, remember too that many others that would be classified as lacking dignity by the worlds criteria, such as those too poor to afford utensils or proper clothing also reflect the dignity of Christ. To be more mindful of your table manners does not necessarily make one more Christ like. Furthermore, in response to the previous comment, the Catholic Church’s image is universal. There is no one correct way to exemplify this “image” other than following Christ’s teachings…it isn’t reflected by one’s dress, hair style, or jewelry. These thing vary from culture to culture. It would concern me more that focusing on these externals may be an opportunity of sin for those struggling with pride or vanity. Lastly, as a former RC member, I’m aware of the Legion’s custom of eating everything with utensils, from bananas to bagels, popcorn to pizza. It was sometimes a topic of discussion for those women that volunteered to provide a decent meal or snack to the visiting Legionary priests. Not as a manner of gossip, but as a concern that the meal provided would not cause a Legionary any difficulty with this rule. My question though is this were any of us RC women less dignified in portraying Christ’s dignity by eating an item with out an utensil? Were we not feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty? These things have significant Christain value, not eating a donut with a knife and fork.

  3. Br Matthew Schneider, LC says:

    Kristi, I understand your concern and as I have said in a previous post ( I think that each spirituality in the Church reflects one part of Christ as nobody can reflect him perfectly. A Franciscan missionary eating with his hands is probably often a better reflection of Christ than I am. One part of our charism, however, is to reflect Christ’s dignity. The externals are not the key – the Christian message is always first about internal conversion – but they reflect what is inside.

    As far as specifics, we are not as square as you make it sound it the comment, and apologize if your experience in Regnum Christi was that. Before Christ’s dignity, we need to show Christ’s charity. If I am with a family and they eat something one way, I will do the same (only limited by not being completely barbaric or needing to wash my suit afterwards). I would never judge anyone as not reflecting Christ’s dignity by eating in a civilized manner without utensils or in an uncivilized manner if they can’t afford what would be needed to eat in a civilized manner. I have never eaten popcorn with a fork except maybe as a joke. Here in Rome, my normal breakfast is bread which I eat with my hands (obviously applying the cream cheese with a knife), and our normal snack is Italian Twinkies and chocolates outside which we eat without even a plate. If I eat a sandwich outside (as many Regnum Christi members generously gave me on numerous occasions), I will eat it with my hands.

    One aspect of our manners few would consider is that we normally eat in the community and if everyone eats with the same manners, nobody needs to think about this so it helps prayer. Like we have a forth vow not to seek positions of power, one monastic order (I am forgetting which one today) has a vow of manners for this reason.

    To conclude, I really didn’t know manners that well before entering – so this story is true (my memory does not serve me for exactly when my friend told me that the Legion would teach me manners so I took my best guess on timing).

    Hopefully this helps explain our norms to you.

  4. cierria says:

    I would say how much you eat would reflect on your christianity. If you take big bites,it could simply mean you were hungry and haven’t eaten all day.

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