Note: While Lino and crew are choosing his favorite new Catholic this week, we here at catholicguyshow.com are celebrating Crew Appreciation Week, with each day being dedicated to a member of the show. We here at the fan site wanted to show our appreciation by embracing Lino and his staff all week long.
Eric Ulrich poses with Soprano's Star James Gandolfini and Fr. Robert Keighron of St. Helen's
R.C. Church in Howard Beach.
I'll come clean and admit it, even though it's embarrassing. When Fr. Rob first appeared on the show, I did not like his on-air presence one bit.
"He seems like the kind of guy who would kick his dog for fun every morning," I told a friend. In my mind, he was brash, rude, took the spotlight away from Lino, and left a sour feeling in my gut. Boy was I glad I didn't go to his Parish.
But instead of abandoning Lino and the show, I kept listening to Fr. Rob's appearances, and slowly began to develop an appreciation for him. 'Maybe Fr. Rob isn't such a bad guy,' I thought to myself. And now? I'd be disgusted and sickened if he stopped appearing on the show each week. He's an awesome priest.
Usually, at least for me, people immediately think of a grey-haired grandfatherly man when they think of priests. Sometimes it is easy for me to forget that at 26, I'm not exactly young anymore, and that there are guys my age who are worried about their parishioners instead of getting a date.
Nope, the red-headed Fr. Rob is one of those young priests: He'll turn 30 on December 3, one day before the show's four year anniversary (he was confirmed as a priest on July 1 of 2006, making his priesthood about the same age as The Catholic Channel, which debuted on Dec. 4 that year). He seems like a great guy to hang out with: in addition to a fondness for alcohol that gets described each day on the show (inspiring the Thirsty Thursday title to his Appreciation Day), he's a huge sports fan, has an easy-going sense of humor: basically a buddy you can invite over to watch a game and play FIFA 10 on the PS3.
Back in 2006, Fr. Rob shared his vocation story here. I was struck by the fact that he listened to God's call and didn't run from the priesthood. Man, how my life would have been much easier if I followed the Father's example and listened to God.
I think we need more priests like Fr. Rob. It's a wonderful thing to know that there are parishioners who get to call Keighron their Father. Someone they can easily relate to and confide in, and someone who has the common sense and grace needed to lead a flock. If there were more priests like Fr. Rob, I think we'd have a lot less problems in the Church. Thank you Fr. Rob Keighron for all that you do for The Church and for Christ our Lord.
Even when you're hammered.
Tomorrow: Father Jim ends the week of appreciation