You may recall that in late January we offered the perspectives of three diocesan officials sharing their experiences working with young clergy. More than 80 of you joined the conversation, commenting on the post and it has sparked discussion elsewhere.
This past weekend, the Minneapolis Star Tribune offered a different perspective, from columnist Katherine Kersten. The piece from Kersten, senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment, profiled a number of newly ordained clergy from throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis. She writes:
These twenty-something priests — and others like them — are the future face of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. In an increasingly secular culture, they have their work cut out for them, but they say they are undaunted.
Today, almost 140 young men are discerning the priesthood at St. John Vianney College Seminary at the University of St. Thomas. The St. Paul Seminary has nearly 100 seminarians, who flock here from dioceses around the country.
In many ways, today’s young priests resemble their peers in the millennial generation. They play Ultimate Frisbee, jog, or play the drums. Originally, many aspired to become professionals, such as architects or accountants. But in the end they chose not an occupation but a vocation — a comprehensive way of life. Their wholehearted desire to challenge the prevailing culture, and their vow of celibacy, mark them as cultural radicals.
One of the priests Kersten interviewed was 27-year-old Kevin Manthey.
The Rev. Kevin Manthey, 27, of St. Stephen’s Church in Anoka is a former teenage garage-band drummer who still plays in his rectory basement. He keeps the words of Pope John Paul II on his office wall to remind him of this mission:
“Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.”
Read Kersten’s entire column here.