Oh I wish I were a good soul. I did try to be good…

I was drinking a rather spectacularly well mixed G&T whilst reading this post of Fr Ray’s blog.

Yes, what a gadfly James is to some, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t him kicking against the prick…

But anyway during the course of said post I was prompted, against my will I might add your honour, to click the link to the Middlesbrough diocese youth mission team website.

I was stuck by 3 things:

the total lack of substance. (there was certainly no mention of God, Christ got dropped in obliquely, perhaps by accident?, by mentioning Christmas, and the name of a school.)

the robotic nature of the quotes given for the website, (I know it is hard to give a short paraphrase to explain why you want to do work for God’s kingdom without using the word vocation, but really)

And finally, la pièce de résistance, the 5th “post” is a picture, which one gets the feeling people shouldn’t be encouraged to look at too closely. Yes I find it is often my humble lot in life to be your bad conscience, go and have a gander, I won’t link to it, maybe terms and conditions man will get me, but it is certainly well worth a look especially for the discerning gentleman.

If it weren’t on the step of a rather grim modernist “sanctuary” of a Church*, I’d say it would be a most promising start to a cabaret act. Perhaps they are taking the tried and tested method of “flirt and convert” a tad too literally…(yes I’m talking to you first from the left in particular, marks for effort)

(*in particular check out the spectacularly tasteless crucifix in the background and the modern art backdrop to; surely, praise be to God, not the altar!!!, it looks more like the label for an Absinthe bottle than anything else, don’t believe me? you are more than welcome to try that link)

As for flirt and convert, nothing wrong with that, many a young man has been drawn into the kingdom of God chasing a skirt*.  there really is nothing wrong with it.  People should look in the Catholic Church for potential marriage material as it is the only place you can attract a significant other who has at least heard God’s idea of marriage.

(*disclaimer, if there were more young men in the Church I would gladly propose the converse as a possibility in the name of sexual equality, addendum maybe terms and conditionsitis is contagious)

But one can’t help but wonder if it is the right message to be sending to the prospective target group of this missionary work… erm schoolchildren???

I can see where they are going with this though, I just wish they’d had the courage to come right out and say it.

“Join the youth mission team, attractive women, average competition, at a 4:1 respective ratio, spread the gospel and hook up!”

I would also like to post a bet in a spirit of good will, if that lucky guy isn’t engaged to one of those girls in the next three years, the priesthood beckons.


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