African sisters who dance up the aisle during Mass. Breviaries worn to a pulp by constant use. Central Catholic vs. Jesuit. Dorothy Day.

Eugene, home to both cloistered Carmelite nuns and the hippest justice-loving Catholics in the West. Futbol players on the Portland Timbers who celebrate a goal by gently crossing themselves. Guadalupe — Our Lady of — who looks like she loves me.

Hilarity, the point at which Thomas Aquinas suggested we should stop drinking, which I prefer to do at the Benedictine Brewery in Mount Angel. Incense, lots of it. Jesus, no doubt and chiefly, with whom I often imagine walking by a lakeshore.

Kateri Tekakwitha, a saint who was damaged, tough and sweet. Liturgy in English, Igbo, Latin, Oromo, Mixtec, Spanish, Swahili, Vietnamese et al. Michelangelo’s Pieta. Notre Dame football. Oscar Romero.

Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI, a balanced pair if ever there were one. Question Corner (see Page 3) where Father Kenneth Doyle shows sensibility, deep faith and a dollop of restraint.

Rockaway Beach, a briny blue collar town where St. Mary by the Sea Church gets showered by spray from the Pacific. Stained-glass saints of the Americas at St. Mary Cathedral, especially Holy Cross Brother André Bessette, who was almost rejected from religious life because of his modest mental capacity but who indisputably became the most famous fellow in a religious community full of professors. God does things like that.

Trappist monks, including Thomas Merton, and Trappist date nut bread, not necessarily in that order. Ugly gargoyles whose shocking faces upon the heights of French cathedrals could peel the paint off the Eiffel tower. Votive candles arranged in an ascending bank in churches.

White vestments worn at Easter. Xavier, St. Francis, who left comfortable Europe to serve amid dangers in India, and whose arm was detached post mortem to go on display in Rome because it blessed so amazingly many new Christians.

Zuelke, the late Dr. Paul, the amiable St. Vincent Hospital obstetrician who probably delivered a good number of you and thought life is unconditionally a miracle.

Since it’s Advent, Y comes last because it’s for “Yes,” the stunning answer a teenage Mary uttered when the Angel Gabriel detailed God’s plan for salvation, which surely must have seemed like an insane joke at first, maybe an early Candid Camera setup by the boys from the carpenter shop. Once she realized it was true, Mary went with it anyway.