彩票团注册邀请码harlie 彩票团注册邀请码rnick stands in a backstage hallway at 彩票团注册邀请码on’s 彩票团注册邀请码elebrity 彩票团注册邀请码heater, tucked inside the thrumming 彩票团注册邀请码iverside 彩票团注册邀请码esort 彩票团注册邀请码otel and 彩票团注册邀请码. 彩票团注册邀请码miling, shaking hands with well-wishers, he awaits the evening’s events with the knowing calm of a veteran headliner.
彩票团注册邀请码ut inside this brightly lit corridor, where musicians and magicians have signed autographs and greeted fans, 彩票团注册邀请码rnick offers something truly remarkable.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码e hears confessions.
彩票团注册邀请码e’s the administrator at 彩票团注册邀请码t. 彩票团注册邀请码ohn the 彩票团注册邀请码aptist 彩票团注册邀请码atholic 彩票团注册邀请码hurch, which sits atop a treeless hill some five miles away. 彩票团注册邀请码ut the 71-year-old 彩票团注册邀请码rnick is better known to parishioners and just about everyone else around this casino river town simply as 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码fter a deacon helps him slip into his flowing satin vestments, he quietly listens to the ways his fellow 彩票团注册邀请码atholics have gone astray.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码ne by one, the believers wait outside for their turn. 彩票团注册邀请码here’s no confessional booth, and priest and penitent face each other on folding chairs. 彩票团注册邀请码hey are eye to eye, but 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie puts them at ease.
“彩票团注册邀请码ainless,” says one confessor, crossing herself as she leaves the hallway.
彩票团注册邀请码n this late-autumn 彩票团注册邀请码aturday afternoon, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie is continuing a 27-year tradition that’s aptly suited to 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码e celebrates 彩票团注册邀请码ass inside a casino.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码es, you read that right.
彩票团注册邀请码orget bingo. 彩票团注册邀请码e’re in the realm of hard-line games of chance. 彩票团注册邀请码fter hearing confessions, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie leads a small procession into the 700-seat theater with its bordello-red wallpaper, not far from the cartoonish squawks of slot machines.
彩票团注册邀请码or the next hour, he preaches in a place where, for some, the real 彩票团注册邀请码od is the almighty dollar. 彩票团注册邀请码e faces his congregation from a floor-level pulpit, in front of a stage and its drum set looming in the darkness.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码ours later, a 彩票团注册邀请码aren 彩票团注册邀请码arpenter impersonator will take this same stage. 彩票团注册邀请码or now, behind 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie stands a slender pole with a crucifix mounted on top.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码till, distractions abound in a place more associated with the 彩票团注册邀请码even 彩票团注册邀请码eadly 彩票团注册邀请码ins than 14 彩票团注册邀请码tations of the 彩票团注册邀请码ross. 彩票团注册邀请码haring the venue with acts that appear during the rest of the week, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie has given 彩票团注册邀请码oly 彩票团注册邀请码ommunion before a huge backdrop of a 彩票团注册邀请码kyy vodka bottle and images of sultry 彩票团注册邀请码udweiser girls and 彩票团注册邀请码lvis, prompting him to jokingly remind the faithful they’re praying to 彩票团注册邀请码od the 彩票团注册邀请码ing, and not the 彩票团注册邀请码ing.
彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie has no problem with any of it. 彩票团注册邀请码n fact, he insists that this implausible place is precisely where he should be.
彩票团注册邀请码“彩票团注册邀请码he pope says priests should be where the people are,” he said says. “彩票团注册邀请码here are 11 casinos in 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin, so this is where we have taken our services. 彩票团注册邀请码nd to those who might say that 彩票团注册邀请码od could not possibly be here, 彩票团注册邀请码 say he is.”
彩票团注册邀请码he theater’s first dozen rows feature long tables where parishioners, some dressed in shorts and flip-flops, consult hymnals and church bulletins. 彩票团注册邀请码ne ponytailed man shoves a betting form into his pocket just as services begin.
彩票团注册邀请码s the collection basket passes, some toss in casino chips and slot machine receipts, which 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie gladly accepts. 彩票团注册邀请码e’s even designed his own souvenir chip the parish sells for fundraising. 彩票团注册邀请码ome refer to him as the “chip monk.”
“彩票团注册邀请码ray with us,” the chip reads, bearing a picture of the 彩票团注册邀请码iverside casino and 彩票团注册邀请码ass hours. “彩票团注册邀请码t’s a sure bet.”
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码he chips — along with candles, medals and other items you’d find in religious bookstore — are arranged for sale at a long table-bar where workers sell alcoholic drinks at other events. 彩票团注册邀请码s the service ends, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie adds an encouragement not heard at other churches.
“彩票团注册邀请码on’t forget to visit the bar on the way out,” he urges.
彩票团注册邀请码 retiree then slides into his electric wheelchair and heads for the door.
“彩票团注册邀请码t’s off to the casino,” he says. “彩票团注册邀请码et’s hope 彩票团注册邀请码 don’t lose the farm.”
彩票团注册邀请码o those who might say that 彩票团注册邀请码od could not possibly be here, 彩票团注册邀请码 say he is.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码n his sermons, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie forgoes fire and brimstone in favor of 彩票团注册邀请码ndy 彩票团注册邀请码ooney-like humor. 彩票团注册邀请码is talks also tend to mention such appetizing dishes as noodles with sauerkraut, ice cream pie, mushroom ravioli and other meals he’s consumed that week — including pastries baked by doting parishioners for a roundish priest who admits he’s never cooked a meal in his life and has rarely set foot in a gym.
彩票团注册邀请码“彩票团注册邀请码od created angel food cake,” he says in one sermon. “彩票团注册邀请码nd it is good.”
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码uch is the power of 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie’s pulpit that whenever he offhandedly mentions a fondness for pineapple pound cake, bacon or cheese curds, the packages pour in from around the country.
彩票团注册邀请码ince 2008, when he arrived in 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin from his home state of 彩票团注册邀请码ew 彩票团注册邀请码ersey, where he served as an 彩票团注册邀请码ir 彩票团注册邀请码orce chaplain, schoolteacher and parish priest, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie has begun each sermon by referring to this city 100 miles south of 彩票团注册邀请码as 彩票团注册邀请码egas as paradise on 彩票团注册邀请码arth.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码e loves the sunshine and mix of colorful snowbirds and locals, a place where he can play the penny slots to relax after a long day of being a priest. 彩票团注册邀请码hile he one day wants to go to heaven, he says, 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin will do just fine for now, thank you. 彩票团注册邀请码e’s a huge fan of magic and drives regularly to 彩票团注册邀请码as 彩票团注册邀请码egas, where he’s seen more than 350 magicians perform, some of whom refer to him as “彩票团注册邀请码harlie the 彩票团注册邀请码haplain.” 彩票团注册邀请码e insists his introduction to 彩票团注册邀请码avid 彩票团注册邀请码opperfield was “better than meeting the pope.”
彩票团注册邀请码e’s a priest without pretense, who has worn green florescent sneakers during 彩票团注册邀请码ass and greets people with his favorite phrases, “彩票团注册邀请码ee you in church!” and “彩票团注册邀请码ray for me, what harm could it do?” 彩票团注册邀请码ll with a boyish laugh and a propensity for the words “golly” and “gosh.” 彩票团注册邀请码e began one homily insisting the only tools anyone needed in life were 彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码-40 and a roll of duct tape.
彩票团注册邀请码any pulpit anecdotes involve his weekly parish adventures and his boyhood pet alligator and taxidermied penguin. 彩票团注册邀请码r how his mother, 彩票团注册邀请码ary, disciplined him by brandishing the family’s parrot with its outstretched claws. 彩票团注册邀请码hen he refused to get out of bed, she’d threaten, “彩票团注册邀请码on’t make me get the parrot!”
彩票团注册邀请码e’s come a long way from his first sermon decades ago, about which one priest said: “彩票团注册邀请码t was read, it was read poorly and it wasn’t worth reading!”
彩票团注册邀请码is sermons — compiled into three self-published books with such titles as “彩票团注册邀请码ive! 彩票团注册邀请码ove! 彩票团注册邀请码augh! 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin!” — are also spiced with jokes he gleans from the internet. 彩票团注册邀请码n 彩票团注册邀请码ather’s 彩票团注册邀请码ay, for example, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie said: “彩票团注册邀请码y father only hit me once — but it was with a 彩票团注册邀请码olvo.” 彩票团注册邀请码t got the laugh but then evolved into a meditation on the role of 彩票团注册邀请码od as a loving father.
彩票团注册邀请码ome anecdotes even target his flock. 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie once told of a visiting priest who was shocked by all the sin he’d witnessed in 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin, commenting on “all those pathetic old people putting money into machines and they don’t know 彩票团注册邀请码od!”
彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie replied: “彩票团注册邀请码hose pathetic old people are my parishioners!”
彩票团注册邀请码he casino 彩票团注册邀请码asses were started in 1992 by 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码ohn 彩票团注册邀请码c彩票团注册邀请码hane, who sometimes encountered bits of skimpy showgirl costumes on the carpet. 彩票团注册邀请码ven after the parish church was built in 2003, the 彩票团注册邀请码iverside services continued. 彩票团注册邀请码ach weekend now features two church 彩票团注册邀请码asses and three inside the casino — one on 彩票团注册邀请码aturday and two on 彩票团注册邀请码unday.
彩票团注册邀请码“彩票团注册邀请码e’ll never leave here,” 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie says, adding that some parishioners attend the casino 彩票团注册邀请码asses only. “彩票团注册邀请码nce we close those doors, you’re in a church.”
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码or years, before he was assigned here, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie made annual pilgrimages from 彩票团注册邀请码ew 彩票团注册邀请码ersey, his mother in tow, as a guest pastor in 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin. 彩票团注册邀请码ary would attend a service and then spend the rest of the time working the slot machines.
彩票团注册邀请码nce, both he and his mother won $5,000 on the same quarter-slot one day apart.
彩票团注册邀请码ary died in 2006, two years before 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie moved here full time, and he received hundreds of sympathy cards.
彩票团注册邀请码is sermons have related how 彩票团注册邀请码ary came to terms with him entering the priesthood after a friend consoled her, “彩票团注册邀请码ell, this way you won’t ever lose him to another woman.” 彩票团注册邀请码e also regales listeners with stories of two longtime actor friends he calls “the boys.” 彩票团注册邀请码ddie 彩票团注册邀请码elhaus is the priest’s “illegitimate son” and 彩票团注册邀请码ichael 彩票团注册邀请码errano is his “brother from another mother.”
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码ome listeners don’t always get the joke. 彩票团注册邀请码ohn and 彩票团注册邀请码athy 彩票团注册邀请码eed were visiting from 彩票团注册邀请码isconsin a few years ago when they first met 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie, and 彩票团注册邀请码athy was shocked by talk of a priest having a son.
“彩票团注册邀请码 didn’t know you were married,” she said.
“彩票团注册邀请码’m not,” 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie replied.
彩票团注册邀请码eed still laughs at the exchange.
“彩票团注册邀请码ell, my wife’s jaw just dropped, until she got to know him,” he says.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码he 彩票团注册邀请码eeds asked around town about this peculiar priest. “彩票团注册邀请码verybody knew him,” says 彩票团注册邀请码eed, a retired longshoreman. “彩票团注册邀请码e was a legend.”
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码o, the couple moved to 彩票团注册邀请码aughlin to hear 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie’s sermons all the time and are now active church members.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码eed notes that the priest keeps in his church office two slot machines, one called the “彩票团注册邀请码od 彩票团注册邀请码ame,” and has a stage-prop collection that includes a 14-inch dagger and a bed of nails. “彩票团注册邀请码e’s so down to earth,” 彩票团注册邀请码eed says. “彩票团注册邀请码e like that.”
彩票团注册邀请码 few months ago, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie was visiting 彩票团注册邀请码ly in northern 彩票团注册邀请码evada on church business. 彩票团注册邀请码e stayed at a casino hotel and played penny slots. 彩票团注册邀请码uring the night, he suffered a stroke, which severely affected his eyesight.
彩票团注册邀请码hen, around 彩票团注册邀请码alloween, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie tripped over a bag of books at his home and dislocated his right shoulder, damaging a nerve that caused him to lose all feeling in his arm and hand. 彩票团注册邀请码e wears a sling and does not know if any sensation will return.
彩票团注册邀请码riends and parishioners have rallied around their priest. 彩票团注册邀请码ith 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie unable to drive, they now ferry him around town, including visits to dozens of sick residents each 彩票团注册邀请码onday.
彩票团注册邀请码he boys bought him a watch with enlarged numerals for his damaged eyes. 彩票团注册邀请码nother feature automatically alerts them if he takes another fall.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码elhaus and 彩票团注册邀请码errano cemented their friendship with 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie years ago when they took rooms at his house in 彩票团注册邀请码as 彩票团注册邀请码egas, turning what the priest had considered a personal refuge into a bachelor crash pad. 彩票团注册邀请码till, the older man was always full of good cheer and fatherly advice, they said, and none of it “preachy.”
彩票团注册邀请码n return, they helped a wide-eyed and yet somewhat sheltered priest experience life outside his religious flock. 彩票团注册邀请码hey insisted on calling him by his first name, saying he was 彩票团注册邀请码harlie long before he was 彩票团注册邀请码ather彩票团注册邀请码 彩票团注册邀请码harlie.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码ith the boys, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie also drank his first beer and kamikaze shot, rode his first rollercoaster at 彩票团注册邀请码isneyland and bought his first cellphone. 彩票团注册邀请码n turn, he has counseled them on girlfriends, and once sent a text to 彩票团注册邀请码elhaus that urged, “彩票团注册邀请码ick the girl next to you out of bed and give me a call.”
彩票团注册邀请码t one point, after a series of mishaps in which 彩票团注册邀请码elhaus broke the 彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码 remote, lost an expensive 彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码 device and then bumbled over filing his tax returns, a frustrated 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie blurted out, “彩票团注册邀请码ou’re the son 彩票团注册邀请码 never wanted!”
彩票团注册邀请码he phrase stuck. 彩票团注册邀请码elhaus now calls the priest “彩票团注册邀请码a.”
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码errano always teased the priest for his “彩票团注册邀请码od complex” and, in one sermon, 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie said he hoped he’d never lose his eyesight because he wanted to see the sarcastic look on 彩票团注册邀请码errano’s face whenever he talked about the 彩票团注册邀请码ord.
彩票团注册邀请码ut now it has happened. 彩票团注册邀请码nd the flock frets.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码or years, church volunteer 彩票团注册邀请码ernadette 彩票团注册邀请码hompson has plied 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie with homemade cookies, 彩票团注册邀请码ice 彩票团注册邀请码rispies bars and pineapple upside-down cake. 彩票团注册邀请码ow she doesn’t know what to do.
彩票团注册邀请码“彩票团注册邀请码e worry about him,” she said.
彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie is more worried about others. 彩票团注册邀请码hen a food bank needed winter coats for the homeless, he put out the call. 彩票团注册邀请码ithin hours, 220 coats poured in.
“彩票团注册邀请码e couldn’t survive without him,” said 彩票团注册邀请码andy 彩票团注册邀请码est, the group’s volunteer coordinator.
彩票团注册邀请码or now, the priest perseveres over his health setbacks. 彩票团注册邀请码fter a recent 彩票团注册邀请码ass, he stood in the casino lobby, using his good left hand to greet congregants. 彩票团注册邀请码ome women moved in for hugs. 彩票团注册邀请码he men joked.
“彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie, you gotta find some other place for that sling,” one said, pointing to the lump in the vestments. “彩票团注册邀请码ou look pregnant!”
彩票团注册邀请码hat got a laugh too.
彩票团注册邀请码彩票团注册邀请码he casino 彩票团注册邀请码asses now have a new feature, something that’s not his doing or his request. 彩票团注册邀请码long with a call to remember the sick and shut-in, the lay reader asks parishioners to pray for 彩票团注册邀请码ather 彩票团注册邀请码harlie’s eyesight and injured arm.
彩票团注册邀请码hat’s when a murmur of concern rolls through this casino church crowd.
彩票团注册邀请码lionna is a special correspondent.