A priest-friend sends along this link to an obituary for a “street priest” in Philadelphia. The fellow gained some fame and was portrayed in two TV movies.
Father Hagan was not a traditional parish priest. Instead, he ministered to the neighborhood around his home at 22d and Berks Streets. He opened his 15-room rowhouse - and his heart - to neighborhood boys who needed a father figure, and to anyone else who needed a prayer, safe haven or a dollar.
What bothered my friend, though, was the priest’s reasons for leaving parish ministry and going into the streets.
“Preaching about racial justice in Alexandria, Va., didn’t seem relevant to me anymore,” he recalled in 1980. “The Vatican Council said that the church should be among the people, and I felt that is where Christ was - where the people most needed him, where the hate, despair and violence are.”
I desparately tried to find the quote from the documents of Vatican II that he cited as a reason to remove himself from pastoral ministry within the context of the parish or the religious order’s charism—but I couldn’t find it! What a surprise!
What a terrible disservice these folk have done to Holy Mother Church by refusing to read the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and adamantly attributing to said council their own preconceived notions of what Holy Spirit should have said and done.
I’m so grateful for a new evangelization, a new spirit of humility and “religious submission of mind and will” [Oops, that actually IS a quote from the documents! My bad!!!] among the priests being ordained today. I hate to say it, but I’m more grateful each day that that older generation is passing away. I pray, of course, for their conversion prior to leaving this “vale of tears,” but I’m most grateful that they’re just GOING AWAY!