My husband Adam and I have been together for 25 years and have always had a mixed relationship. He is an atheist; I am a Catholic. When we got married in the church back in 2000, he tolerated the premarital classes and agreed to raise our future children Catholic. Although our beliefs are vastly different, we have always respected and supported each other. When friends make snide comments about my faith, he has my back, and I appreciate it.
As a cradle Catholic, I stereotypically expected priests to be old and assumed that we had little in common, so when Fr. Bryan rolled into St. Benedict’s on his street bike a few years ago as our new parish priest, I was perplexed. For the first time it didn’t seem weird to hang out with a priest. Our initial excursion outside of mass was a laidback bike ride to Woodinville to go wine tasting. Our friends won the outing at an auction, and invited Adam and I along.
Riding along the Burke Gilman, picnicking, and drinking wine at three vineyards proved a relaxing and entertaining way to spend a Saturday afternoon. It was then we learned that Fr. Bryan and I both graduated from high school in 1993, and we are the same age. My inner-self was freaking out. Am I getting old, or are priests getting younger?
Over the last three years our friendship has grown, and Adam and I enjoy the time we spend with Bryan over dinners on our back deck and breakfast at Blue Star. Fr. Bryan had my back when I was hit by Jesus – literally, he drives a Ford Fiesta – in Buenos Aires in November, and the St. Ben’s love and prayer imbued my shredded body with joy as I recovered from brain surgery, shoulder surgery, and meningitis, but that is another story…
Fr. Bryan is a cornerstone in the St. Benedict’s community. The 10AM mass on Sundays is popular for families with squirrely kids and parents the same age and demographic as our priest. 8AM is a smaller and quieter group, and Sundays at 5PM is an eclectic mix of young singles, families rolling back into town from the weekend, and the experienced. The good news is that there are seats and smiles for all. And there are donuts, which, I am not going to lie, are one of my kids’ favorite parts of church time. Come see the young face of the priesthood, get a hug from my healing body, and grab a donut!
St. Benedict’s Catholic Church and School are located on Wallingford Avenue between 48thSt. and 50thSt.