This morning I saw a Youtube video featuring a skateboarding Catholic priest from Hungary. According to articles, he uses his skills on the skateboard in order to reach out to children and teenagers. In the video, he was smiling and talking, all while doing tricks on the skateboard. Sure, it may be a little unorthodox, but I think that’s what makes this way of ministry so great.
Of course there is a time and place for tradition, but this priest also shows that reaching out to people where they are with things that interest them is a valuable way to spread the faith. When I was in high school, there was a nun who would visit and roller-skate through the hallways. Rumors and stories of the skating nun were around well before I saw her for the first time. I remember what an impact that had on my understanding of religious life. A nun? Who roller-skates? In school?! She brought excitement and made me see that there is a “cool” side to Catholic religious life.
Working at Catholic New York, I have come into contact with many other people in religious life – sisters, brothers, priests – who clearly do not fall into the stereotypical roles associated with them. This priest, also, shows that there is more to Catholics than meets the eye.