One day, 32 years ago, I was walking along Elmsley Place at St. Michael's College in Toronto with Prof. Marshall McLuhan. I had taken several of his classes at the Centre for Culture and Technology, one on poetry where he focused on Shakespeare's sonnets. The name of his institute was an awfully grand and tekkie-sounding thing for 1976, but...the Centre was merely a kind of weathered brick and comfy sort of house overlooking Queens Park, not one of those high-tech buildings over on the main campus of the University of Toronto. I fell into step with McLuhan because he was on his way to Mass, too.
I was only 19 years old, and fairly clueless. No doubt I missed half or more of what was being taught to me and referenced in these classes. In fact, we used to have one professor at St. Mike's, Fr. Belyea, who used to tell us in exasperation that we were useless, and that we shouldn't have come to college, but should be working and putting *our parents* through college. They, after all, with a long life of cares and responsibilities and most importantly *experience*, would now be in a better position to appreciate and benefit from great literature and philosophy, which was utterly lost on us idiot youths!
I must have asked McLuhan something stupid -- I don't remember what it was. There was a certain apprehension, trying to understand, trying to hurry to daily Mass at 12:10 -- and yes, this figure of the counterculture, embraced by so many secularists and Whole Earthers and Extropians, this patron saint of Wired magazine, went to daily Mass. Born of Methodist parents, he had converted to Catholicism in 1937, a good year for that, after reading G.K. Chesterton, we're told by Wikipedia. I don't know. He didn't speak of it. Going to daily Mass wasn't any sign of piety or virtue in this circle. We all went, that was just how it was at the college.