Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Homies Include "El Padrecito

I just loved this article. I really do appreciate a celebration of culture when the Church can take up what is good in it and use it to express some deeper realities.

Ok, so El Padrecito isn't by himself a "deeper reality" but it makes him "cool" , it seems to make him more accessable, and because of that ministry is happening.

Father Masseo Gonzalez, a Franciscan Catholic priest based in Arroyo Grande, is the brother of “Homies” creator David Gonzalez.

The priest put together a site ( using some freely distributed software and began answering the questions that Homies fans would send to him. Most of his visitors come from California and Texas, said Gonzalez, and most of the messages are composed in a mish-mash of English, Spanish and Internet slang.

Some of the questions Gonzalez gets are typical teenage fare, such as requests for relationship advice. However, Gonzalez also gets a rare glimpse into some of the problems affecting Latino youth.

“I got a 16-year-old girl that ran away from home and was living with her older boyfriend,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez also described situations of girls living with men who beat them or use their homes to sell drugs. Kids logging on to his site have also asked the priest about subjects like drugs and gangs.

“(The kids) trust my brother and they trust the Homies,” Gonzalez said. “These kids are hurting.”

Check out their stuff, maybe donate to his cause. I think it's incredibly inventive and an excellent use of popular culture to speak to and invite in those who might not care to darken the door of a Church. God bless 'em! (thanks Amy for bringing it to our attention!)


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