In a mall named Destiny in a city nicknamed the ‘Cuse (rhymes with excuse), the Pope stands guard over the sixth largest shopping mall in the country.

The multi-story Destiny is always thick with security. Men and women in light blue shirts and dark blue pants keep jumpers from jumping, thieves from thieving, and teens from teeming weekend nights after 6 pm. Most look bored.

Not His Holiness. He’s always smiling. Dressed in white, he oversees the main exit to the underground parking garage.

The Most Holy Father Francis is there courtesy of the smart marketing efforts of a storefront chapel. Basement level living seems fine with him. He gives you a grinning thumbs up when you exit the mall. He’s smiley, but he’s no pushover; nobody’s punched him or scrawled graffiti on him thus far.


As I pass by on this particular day, I wonder if there’s a private place where the two of us can go for confession. Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been just over a week since I pledged to not frivolously shop in 2018 and already I have come very close several times to breaking my vows.

This is the story of those sins.

I’m not looking for absolution. Just page views.

Thanks for your patronage. Read early and read often.