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Surfing Priest

The California Surfing Priest
Early morning last Sunday, October 5, 2008, "the blessing of the waves" took place on Huntington Beach, promoted by the Diocese of Orange County, California. This event is a means to bless and promote surfing, a sport born about 50 years ago on that same beach.

The show was stolen by Fr. Matthew Munoz, above, pastor of St. Irenaeus Church, who appeared wearing his Mass vestments and carrying his surfboard. An aficcionado of surfing, Fr. Munoz was also carrying his surfing-suit, hanging from his board, which he later donned to ride the waves.

The blessing was given by Franciscan Fr. Christian Mondor, below center, who addressed God as "the Big Kahuna," a Hawaiian term for voodoo-priest, witchdoctor, sorcerer. He started the blessing with a joke, asking for good waves for the surfers: "May they hang 10 on thy ocean bounty and, if it be in accordance with thy gnarly plan, may they not wipe out."

In that same spirit, Fr. Munoz led the participants in a race to the water, and warned the reporters: "I am not Jesus. I need a surfboard to walk on water." Then, more serious, he sent a Communist message with these words: "May the gifts of creation not be something we feel entitled to ourselves as individuals. Let them be something we protect and cherish for everyone."

As a bowl of holy water was poured into the ocean, Munoz ran with his board into the waves. It was the perfect moment for the rock band "The Wedge" to open a power-chord from Wipeout, a music adopted by surfers.

Here we have another example of the adaptation of the Church to the modern world and inculturation...
Surfing Priest

Photos from L.A.Times, October 6, 2008    Assotiated Press, online, October 6, 2008


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Posted October 12, 2008

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