Fanatic Freaky Father Jim Friday

I was driving today, listening to Lino read today's blog by Dustin about our friend, Fr. Rob "I secretly love the Luminous Mysteries and John Paul the Great" Keighron. The topic about his appearance and age came up in the discussion. I don't remember the exact words, but I think the conclusion was Fr. Rob is a decent looking guy you'd tell your friends has a "good personality." So, I was thinking about my upcoming blog about Fr. Jim.

Let's face it, ladies (and gentlemen). Fr. Jim Chern is a good-looking man.

(Let it be known that I would love to see how much Fr. Jim blushes when reading this)

I once noticed on Facebook that someone had commented that he is a "Father What-a-Waste", implying that it's a waste for a good looking man to be a priest and live a life of celibacy. I strongly disagree with this label. Don't get me wrong, people. I think he's a looker, too (yes, I am still happily with my boyfriend). I would hardly call Fr. Jim a "What-a-waste".

For those of you who don't know, Fr. Jim is the Campus Minister at Montclair State University (I know, we all thought he had the easy life and just came to let the Catholic Guy Show crew joke with him once a week).

Think back to your college years. For some of us this is pretty easy. For others, not so much (if you were born by the time Lino was in college, raise your hand. That's what I thought.). How inclined were you to actually admit that you're a Catholic, let alone attend Mass or even think about celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

When I was a student at Trinity University, our campus minister my first two years was an Oblate priest named Fr. Tom (whom we affectionately called 'Padre'). Padre had a great way with college students - he found ways to relate the homilies to college life (I'll never forget him relating the Wedding Feast at Cana to a frat party and a guy offering to turn water into beer). Due to Padre's increasing duties at his parish and with his order, he had to stop serving as our campus minister after my sophomore year, and things just weren't the same without him.

Here's why I strongly believe that Fr. Jim Chern is nothing near a "Fr What-a-Waste". With the relativism that is so prevalent in our world, we need men like Fr. Jim to step up and be the hands & feet of Christ for college students. During college, young adults are (usually) away from their parents and their comfort zone they might have had at their high school or their home parish. It's men like Fr. Jim Chern that step up and keep these students celebrating the Sacraments in the Catholic Church. It's men like Fr. Jim Chern that show students that the call to the priesthood is for real men (and even the good-looking ones). Men like Fr. Jim Chern are proof that you can still enjoy a slice of pizza, a pint of beer, and a baseball game (well, for those of you that like the Yankees) and wear a Roman collar, serving in Persona Christi.

On the show, I love hearing Fr. Jim on Friday's. I miss his answers to "Who's More Catholic?" (and I admit I usually voted for his answers just to put a minor dent in Lino's pride). I get a kick out of how he has been helping Lino evaluate potential dates from his online dating adventures and his casual references to "Jersey Shore". (How many priests do you know who know who Snookie is?). I love that when I listen to to Fr. Jim on the show, it's easy to forget that he's a priest. He sounds like one of the crew's friends who just stops by the show on Fridays to hang out with the gang.

But like Fr. Rob, Fr. Jim is a man who has chosen to lay down his life for Christ and the Church. Literally. (If you've never attended a priestly ordination, I strongly suggest it and you'll see what I mean). He still finds time to enjoy a Yankees game (I won't fault him for that one ... it's just proof that we're all human) and have a laugh with his friends. He is a man that gives us faith that, in spite of the current turmoil, Christ will keep the promise He gave Peter in Matthew 16 ... that the gates of hell will not prevail against us.

So, Fr. Jim -

Thanks for accepting God's call to the priesthood. Thanks for keeping up with "Jersey Shore" so you can be cool with the college students (even though you secretly love it). AND thanks for letting Lino & the crew pick on you every Friday on the show to help us remember that priests don't have to be ugly.

And, always remember ... "He must increase, I must decrease." - John 3:30 (I just had to mention the time I corrected your Bible knowledge on your birthday).

I'll tip my Astros hat towards the Jersey Shore tomorrow in your honor.

Thanks for all you do -

Kristan (forever the Houston Astros fan)

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1 Response to Fanatic Freaky Father Jim Friday

  1. Awesome write-up on the Father. I wish I had someone like him when I was in college!