Monday, December 27, 2010

St. Paul Inside the Walls

A while back I got an e-mail saying that the young adult group at St. Paul Inside the Walls, the Paterson Diocese's evangelization center, was planning a trip to Rome. I thought about not going for a few minutes and then said yes, and made a commitment to do more at the center.  Granted Fr. Geno who is running the center was the priest who started youth ministry at my parish and I've known and loved him for years, 17 to be exact, and that is kind of scary, but still.  So I decided to do more with the young adult group as it really was a petty reason why I wasn't down there. I opted for the young adult connection meetings as they fall on my day off and it's easier for me to get there on time for stuff.  Yesterday's discussion evolved around the Immaculate Conception/Mary, laughter, and on an odd note the whole abuse scandal.  On Sunday, the NJ Star Ledger, ran a story on the Archdiocese's so called handling of priests who have been accused.  I had read the Archdiocese response before I read the actual article. I went skimmed the Star Ledger article and some of the comments (I don't know why I read those either) and it was filled with the same story we hear all the time.  The church does moves them around, the church doesn't care.

Wrong Star Ledger, the Church does care and always has.  The Church is made up of humans of which we are all sinners and not perfect.  Priests are not perfect, I'm not perfect, humanity is not perfect, we just have to deal with it.  I want to know when the Star Ledger will do a cover story on the countless "good" priests out there, you know the ones running Evangelization centers, caring for the abuse victims, the man who helps a family mourn the loss of a loved one, helping/counseling those in need.  Yes the Church needs vocations, true vocations.  Most guys know what they are getting into when they enter the seminary or so I hope they do.

In my 31 years I have met with and dealt with many priests, some I've liked, some I've disliked and others I have loved.  Those that fall under the love category are those that have shown me what being a priest truly is.  It is the priest who is happy in his vocation, the one who can laugh and cry with you, all the while still being human and above all a friend.