Skip to comments.Dashing young priests turn heads at Youth Day
Posted on 08/19/2005 3:35:25 PM PDT by NYer
COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - Young priests in sharp suits and sunglasses are turning heads and winning hearts at the Catholic World Youth Day festival in Cologne.
They are the type of men Pope Benedict hopes will secure the future of the Church and inspire youngsters to choose a religious life, which may be why he has insisted on addressing seminarians personally during his four-day visit to Germany.
Churches in North America and Europe are crying out for priests. To some of the 400,000 youngsters attending the event, the sight of a young man in a priest's collar or black suit arouses huge interest.
Young people say they are also approachable enough to ask frank questions such as how they can live without sex.
"It was meeting a young priest at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000 that made me decide I wanted to be a priest," said 27-year-old Matt Henry from Arizona.
"When you see inspirational, active young priests then you begin to consider it as an option for yourself," he added.
The more dashing young priests at World Youth Day seem to have an entourage of adoring teenage girls. Young men question them on what made them decide to devote their lives to God.
New strategies for tapping this interest to boost new recruits have turned one young American priest into a pin-up.
Father Jonathan Meyer, wearing sunglasses and a sleek black cassock and clutching a crucifix, replicates Keanu Reeves' pose in the film "The Matrix" for a recruitment poster.
"It has been a complete success...It is a striking image which meets young people were they are at," said 28-year-old Meyer, who manages youth work in the diocese of Indianapolis.
"I know I am hanging in a few girls' bedrooms too, but that's fine -- we need their prayers for more priests," he said.
CHASTITY A TURN-OFF
World Youth Days have become a kind of job fair for the Church. Beside large-scale masses and vigils with the Pope, young people can discuss faith and possible religious callings.
"I genuinely hope many participants will pose these questions and get the right assistance," Cardinal Joachim Meisner told a news conference.
"Our World Youth Day in Paris in 1997 was very good for finding future priests and matching couples who later married," said 32-year-old Father Claude Amaury.
Although some young people say they admire priests' service to their parishes, chastity is a key stumbling block for many.
Asked if they had considered the priesthood, a group of Bavarian boys snigger and say no. Asked why not, one mutters "no sex."
However, Meyer believes that, through the influence of the late Pope John Paul, more youngsters are looking for a more traditional brand of Catholicism and the devotion and spirituality which life in the priesthood entails.
Young seminarian Matt Henry explained he was not afraid of a future life alone without a family.
"To some extent we are living it in the seminary already. There is no dating allowed."
If nothing else, this article makes for a good laugh.
The media still doesn't get it.
The "journalists" in the MSM can't think above their own waist.
Now if only a few of the priests will pose for the camera and then break into a chorus of "We're here and we're queer!", the New York Times will have a front-page above-the-fold breaking news story.
No photos of the cool sexy priests?
Should I become a Priest or an Interior Decorator ........... Priest - Decorator ......... Priest - Decorator ....... Priest - Decorator?
Sounds like DECORATOR, for sure, dude.
Well - yes.
What do you make of this, Robt? Am I missing something?
Funny that they approached it from this point of view.
Sorry, folks. Chastity is for everyone: single, married, religious, and laity. The specifics are different, depending on one's state in life, but there's no escape.
I think one reason young men don't consider the priesthood is that they don't understand the alternative. Barring unforeseen circumstances (lifelong bachelorhood, infertility), the alternative to priesthood is fatherhood. Father or Father, as it were.
Godless society says that the choice is between celibacy and promiscuity, but that's a deadly lie. If a young man says he's not inclined to the priesthood because he's planning on marriage and children, then he's with the program. If a young man says he's not considering a religious vocation because he wants sex, then he's been poorly catechized.
Or has been influenced by an over-sexed culture.
Let's face it, against current mainstream culture, being a true, chaste (in all its forms) Catholic is counter-cultural.
Rebellion was never so joyful or peaceful as being a good Catholic.
Yes, you're right.
My point was that many young men seem to think, well, seminarians and priests are celibate, but everyone else can sleep around without commitment or harmful consequences. That's what they're taught by the schools, the media, etc., but it's not a moral option, and that needs to be made clear by the Church.
Unless a man is married, he's required to be celibate, just like a priest is. (True for women, too, of course, but the article was about priests.)
Unless a man is married, he's required to be celibate, just like a priest is.
How I wish more Catholic youth understood this...
My oldest son is only 11. I expect the years ahead will be challenging!
Nah! Boys prefer sports over girls any day. How old is your oldest daughter? That's your challenge.
"How I wish more Catholic youth understood this..."
Right on. Chastity means purity.
Bless you! Some learn slower than others. We must be patient with God :-)
Way to go!
(Mentioned in this article.)
"Bless you! Some learn slower than others. We must be patient with God :-)"AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah, well, maybe they focused on the "gay pedophile" priests because the "bishops" and the "church leadership" didn't do "squat" for "decades" except move the "priests" around from place to place when "little boys" got "raped".
At 11, yes. At, say, 16, not a chance.
Pretty good indicator that they know and understand their audience.
My daughter is 14, but she doesn't seem to have issues regarding chastity. (She's got other issues, involving being the Queen of the Universe, but what 14-year-old doesn't?)
I've heard that.
"Let's face it, against current mainstream culture, being a true, chaste (in all its forms) Catholic is counter-cultural. Rebellion was never so joyful or peaceful as being a good Catholic."
I think you're onto something there. Rebellion appeals to the young and the young at heart. It's ironic that the Catholic church has become so deliciously counter-culture.
When rebellion becomes the norm, as has been in MANY centuries past, the Church has always been the counter to that. I believe that we are seeing another of those periods.
Nice Poster, but why is it rated R?
Father Meyer is from MY church!!! He is VERY traditional, and has a love for the liturgy, statues, and wears a cassock. He is much loved in this parish.
Reuters. It figures.
Now that's exciting! What a good looking, 'orthodox' priest. Bless him!
Our pastor is also young. Last year a group of us accompanied him to Brooklyn NY ......
(first priest with dark hair to the left of the DHL truck)
.... for the Installation liturgy of our new bishop. On the way down, we stopped at one of the service areas on the NYS Thruway. A bus filled with young women on their way to a stylists convention was also at this service area. Coincidentally, they were accompanied by one of our parishioners who teaches at their school. She introduced two of the young women to our group but their gaze was fixated on Father dressed in Roman clericals, as they primped and preened themselves. Lol! It was funny if not sad to realize they were absolutely clueless about the catholic priesthood.