Last night went well with the kids. Me on the grill cooking up meat, the others on the field playing ultimate frisbee and speedball. Saint stories around the bonfire later on, finished with prayer in front of the tabernacle inside the Church. My buddy the youth minister always ensures that there is substance even on nights devoted to fun and games. If it was nothing but phony-baloney, plastic banana, good time rock and roll nonsense, I wouldn't volunteer for this.
Afterward we went out for some beers to discuss the night. The youth minister does what he does for a living, though he's clear he doesn't want to do it forever. I don't blame him one bit. As is the case with most Catholic parishes these days, the employees of the parish are 90% women. A woman holds the position of Director of Religious Education. As the title says, she's a clip haired, mean faced broad in a pantsuit as Michael Savage would put it. My sources tell me that she's untouchable and she strongly dislikes the YM. Of course she does; he's a confident man who cares about ensuring the kids receive a good formation in the Catholic faith and wants them to go to heaven.
The pastor believes in the YM but at the same time, he's terrified of confrontation like most priests usually are. If he gets uppity with his female employees, they might all walk out and complain to the bishop. Father would then get called onto the carpet and get scolded for not being paaaaastoral and having a problem with women. Both YM and myself, in contrast, love confrontation. If I were in his position, I would tell the DRE, "Fuck you and your progressive bullshit." YM cannot do that as he has a wife and infant daughter to take care of.
If nothing else, my time in the seminary taught me how much I hate dependence. The entire course of my life was changed because one disgruntled priest took offense at my realtalk and went behind my back to complain to my superiors instead of confronting me directly. I was angry and bitter about it for a long time. But anger and bitterness only hurts me, in the end. It woke something within me. No matter what kind of job I have in the world, it could end at any time. I don't care what skills you have, how long you've been with the company, how well you know the boss... your employer sees you as an expensive liability. If he can replace you with a cheaper employee from India or China, he will. Period. Your livelihood depends on the fortunes of an institution that sees you as just another cog in the machine, a human resource. Lots of good employees are confident it can't happen to them... until it does.
And that's not even touching on the modern phenomenon of social media campaigns against badthinkers in the workplace. The tragic thing is that the workplace in a Catholic parish or Protestant church or whatever is seldom different. Women are overwhelmingly in education positions in the Church, despite the clear admonitions of St. Paul, and a significant number of their priest bosses are gay. I can assure you that a workplace dominated by women and gays is a miserable experience for most normal men. The YM's most vocal critics are always women who usually don't even have children in the LifeTeen program. Hell, he'd probably get fired if I used his real name on this blog.
He's humble enough to admit that in a perfect world, a perfect Church, his job would not be necessary. Ideally, the priest and the parents should be of such outstanding sanctity that their children follow their examples and are strong in the faith. In the real world, most parents and priests believe they don't have the time to properly form these kids, so they hire strangers to do it for them. If I'm going to do this at all, I'm going to do the best work I can and, frankly, I don't give a damn about the feelings of progressives. If they don't like it, they can go home.