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Thursday, November 10, 2005



He will not last, unless, of course, he grows up soon.

I have no problem with being hip and cool but he's over the top.

The photo of the funky first Mass said a lot, too.


No Ramones? Not much of a punk.


I REALLY REALLY REALLY prefer my pastor not sing to me during the homily. I'm cringing just thinking about it. We had a pastor who would burst into a Neil Diamond tunes "turn on your heart light...". If you dont like the guys taste in music it automatically lowers him in your mind - instantly making him less credible.


Actually, I found him a very interesting character and have no problem with him as alter Christos. Jesus was about the same age during His ministry (early thirties) and displayed a certain "punk ethic" that was quite out of step with the leadership of His society - He preached radical things like renouncing wealth, taking up a cross, and feeding the poor. The "punk priest" doesn't seem like much a punk at all, really. Before he entered the seminary he did things like attend daily mass and immerse himself in Maronite spirituality - harldy punkish things to do. If used sparingly, quoting or singing excerpts from popular songs could be an effective way to reach young people. If he does it every week, it would certainly get real old real fast. But I don't get that impression from his website. Based on what's on his website he doesn't seem to adhere to any "feel good" liberal theology, in fact his interest and knowledge of Eastern Catholism indicate quite the opposite. The Eastern Rites are far more conservative than the Latin Rite and I wish more Roman Catholics had an appreciation for our eastern brethren. So he likes popular music and maybe indugles a little too much in his car (which really isn't a very expensive model anyway)? Does it detract from his ministry? Unless it does, I say go Punk Priest, go, and hope he inspires more decent and Godly young men to enter the priesthood.


His conversion story is quite powerful, and I hope he inspires more boys to step up and embrace their vocation.


Nice enough guy, but Kool and the Gang at Mass? That music is so insipid and awful it would make my soul hurt in a profane setting, hearing at Mass - sung by the priest, at that - would be too much. A 40 year old man singing the Pointer Sisters from pulpit would inspire fits of derisive laughter in me, not reverence for our Lord.


Why not a "Holy" Priest rather than a "Punk" Priest.


hipo, that may all be true but it reminds me of the problem with pop music lyrics. They may have an alternative message, one that belies the music itself or the general impression taken away by young listeners--but what good is it when it is so buried?

E.g., the Beatles' Revolution (wish I could think of a better example) was actually anti-revolution in content, but somehow it comes off as endorsing the 1968 zeitgeist anyway. So by his appearance and cultural affects, this priest is affirming some of the worst impulses in our culture, and only those who dig much deeper know differently.

And why does he need this phony identity anyway? He should be past that by now.


"(it) could be an effective way to reach young people."

This is the most common, and perhaps only valid excuse for things like the 'punk priest.'

It is true that great Christian men throughout history have incorporated seemingly contrary schools of thought into a broader understanding of theology; with a great view toward subordinating the greatest of philosophy and art to Revelation men such as Augustine, Aquinas, and Raphael reconciled those old pagans to give us Medieval Neoplatonism, Scholasticism, and High Renaissance painting. One can even make the case for Vatican II under similar auspices. At any rate these great developments have proven to be central pillars of Catholic thought to this day.

That said, the onus is on our 'punk priest' to show us how Darby Crash, Sid Vicious and GG Allin are reconciled with Church teaching in any way. After all, words do mean things; its not an innocent title or gimmick we're looking at here.

I contend that Catholicism properly understood and punk rock properly understood are pretty much antithetical to one another. I'm sure someone can distort one or both to make them match up in some perverse, heretical way, but really, who likes the Damned enough to do something like that?

The Ramones comment reminds me of Dee Dee Ramone's short lived hip-hop career. In the mid to late 80s he embarked upon a new and hip style of music so as to teach children the evils of drugs, among other things. Surely it was an effective way to reach young people since punk rock was dormant, right?

He died of a heroin overdose a few years ago.

Sometimes we've got a bigger picture to look at than the one that gives us "an effective way to reach young people." After all, I'm a youngun myself and I'd like to tell Sister Twangy and the Punk Priest to leave the guitars and pop music at home.

Brother G

I am a religious postulant and seminarian in a very conservative Catholic community, who wears a cassock daily, and I find nothing at all wrong with his approach to the priesthood. He is being himself; the person God made him to be, and many "devout" Catholics could learn from his example!! We are all different people with different talents and personalities, and God uses us for different purposes in building up His Kingdom. Just because his approach may be different than most priests, don't be so quick to judge him. His vocation is from God!! And, I would imagine that the youth love him because they can relate to him. Just my two cents... God Bless!!


Hi - I just became personally aquainted with the "punk priest" as I was in Latrobe PA visiting my family at Easter, to whose church this priest was assigned last year. Believe me when Father Bob first arrived there my conservative catholic family (my mom is an 80+ year old Irish Catholic) did not know what to make of him. But after initial doubts due to his outward appearance and somewhat different style (a lot more singing of the mass and use of latin and hebrew (or aramaic?)) they soon realized this was a sincere, joyfilled, enthusiastic and above all ORTHODOX young priest who was not afraid to talk about sin, difficult subjects facing catholics today and what is truly important and central to our faith. He does connect with the younger members in this church but not just by using pop music, entertaining them and trying to be their buddy (as I have seen some priests and other religious try to do)but by challenging them to live by their faith, learn their faith and stand up to today's popular culture pressures challenging their ability to live as Christ calls them to. We need more such "punk priests" - not necessarily who copy his style but who bring such an obvious love of our faith, love of the eucharist, and be willing to put themselves out ther a little to help all catholics realize this beautiful gift Christ gave us when he told Peter "on this rock I will build my church". Please don't judge this man from one aspect of his website - he is doing great good as a priest and my family and I believe this man will bring increased vocations to any area he is assigned.


I was at a Vespers service with Fr. Bob. The church was in a wealthy section with many older people. They looked at him then looked at each other. I could see heads going from side to side in amazement and judgement. UNTIL he started to speak. Completely Orthodox, completely faithful to the Catholic faith. He won everyone over with his reverence, knowledge, and faith. I can't wait until I am in his presence again.

Migdalia Mass

My priest went to semminary with the punk priest and he told me about his site. I like the fact that he is original, and I listened to one of his homilies, and I loved it!
I wish more priests were so charismatic lol
We need more priets to reach out to the young and old alike and inspire vocations in such a cool way!


I was a bit skeptical, but after seeing Fr. Bob "in action", I have got to say that his parishiners are very fortunate to have him as their pastor.

People may not like his sandals, ear/toe rings, style of dress or any of the other aspects of his "strange" sort of style, but Jesus Himself was often viewed in a similar light.

He doesn't preach anything that isn't in line with traditional Church teachings. Give him a chance and let his talent, enthusiasm and knowledge be the criteria on which he is judged.

"He doesn't preach anything that isn't in line with traditional Church teachings". Is that right?

You need to do some investigating. I've been told that he lusts after young, married women. Is this the type of person you want your children being influenced by? I think NOT!


Maybe its my baptist past but the "Let the Church say Amen!" stuff really turns me off. I suppose there is nothing wrong or un-catholic about it but if i had wanted that I would have never left the Baptist church.


I agree with the posting about the can I get an Amen and such stuff. It is very unlike any other Catholic mass that I've ever been at. We don't need that kind of thing in church, we are there for worship not for entertaining one another with that Amen stuff.

Mindy Mass

We just had Fr. Bob over for a retreat in lovely Garmisch, Germany, and after seeing him in action, we all fell in love with his ways!
His homilies were awesome and his talks made us think about our faith and how we sometimes lack the enthusiasm in it. He also talked to the kids and our teens, they were inspired, and not to go get earrings or funky hair, but by his words and his ways of reaching out. They also liked how he reached out and the way he said Mass, he was so reverent!
We will miss him and we pray to see him again soon!


I went to Penn State with this guy, and I'm shocked of all the comments about a person you don't even know. He is a good person and a great priest.
To the person who said he lusts after young women-married, I say bull. And also remind you about the sin of false witness, you should confess...because this is not true. Shame on you.


Punk Priest? Come on just another priest who wants the attention and glory going to him. Clown masses, halloween masses, women dancing on the alter, why not punk it was bound to happen. Instead of showing the people that it is the Mass as the greatest prayer on earth its all about the punks, clowns, dancers and frankinstien. Thank God my beloved Corps still has discipline and tradiction.


God loves us all:clowns, punks and Frankenstien included.Jesus call different temperaments and personalities to the priesthood-different fisherman for different fish.As long as a priest shows great reverence and respect for the transfiguration of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ there is nothing to worry about It is the shepherds who have lost their belief in the sacred presence and are disloyal to the magisterium that are the worry

anti vatII


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