Saturday, July 23, 2005


Earlier this summer, there was some debate over the fact that the United States Army had below average recruitment and that at current levels, it was going to miss its recruitment goal for the year. (Of course, the articles and debate missed the fact that Army recruitment was about the same in the first half of the year last year and picked up in the secend half enough to reach the goal.) What all the naysayers who were suggesting that young men and women just don't want to join up and go die in Iraq missed was that the Marine Corps has sustained a substantial percentage of all casualties in Iraq since the US invaded, but during that same time, the Marines have consistently met their recruitment goals and in some years have had to turn people away.

Why do the Marines do better than the Army in terms of recruitment? As a viewer of that medium known as the television, all I can say is that the Marines have kick-ass commercials and the Army does not. (Anyone who has seen the movie Patton ought to know what a crock that 'Army of One' line is...)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- "Just as Keanu Reeves fought against the powers of evil, a priest comes to help people fight against sin. There is a battle out there," explained Father Jonathan Meyer, associate director of youth and young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Father Meyer said the poster, on which he is featured as the "Matrix"-style priest, had its origins in a skit that he saw during his first year at the North American College, the U.S. seminary in Rome. The skit, put on by a group of older seminarians, was based on the film. In it, a group of priests fought Satan in a series of mock martial-arts confrontations.
After a few initial edits, the poster was given a trial run at Our Lady of the Greenwood, in Greenwood, where Father Meyer also serves as associate pastor.

Father Meyer said it got a huge response. "They were going like hotcakes. Young kids wanted them to hang in their bedrooms, high school students wanted them to hang in their lockers," he said. "That is invaluable. If we can get kids to hang a picture of a priest in their room, we've done something huge for vocations."

The response, though, seems to make sense to him. It appeals to people at a level that everyone appears to share. "People love heroes. The poster personifies the priest as a hero," he said.

Read the complete article A la 'Matrix,' vocations recruitment poster shows priest as hero from Catholic Online from CNS.

This poster here I hope is the start of a new trend. The Priesthood ought not be misrepresented, but it could definitely use a little glamour. After all, priests are heroes and they are saving lives around the world everyday. Is the Holy Father's sunwear all that unexpected in this light?

EDIT: If any of my dear, wonderful readers lives in the Indianapolis Archdiocese or has contacts there and could donate a copy of the poster to this author for 'research' (it would look pretty sweet in my room at my new apartment), it would be most appreciated.

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