Last night I was able to catch up with one of the Youngest priests in the Archdiocese of Mobile--Fr. Wayne Youngman.
Fr. Wayne has been a priest know for just over a year. Before priesthood, Wayne had a career in the Army as a Black-hawk Helicopter pilot. Also, he raised and showed English Bull Dogs professionally as his hobby. Although he is modest about it, I heard he was even invited one time to bring one of his dogs to Westminster!
Also interestingly, Wayne grew up Methodist. When he moved to Enterprise (because of Fort Rucker being just next door) several years ago, Catholics moved into his closest circle of friends. Slowly he felt called to join the Catholic Church....and eventually the Lord made his calling to the priesthood clear as well. It is amazing how God moves into our lives when & how we least expect it.
Fr. Wayne, did his Pre-Theology and Theology studies at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He was ordained a priest down in Mobile in June of 2010. He and three other guys were ordained together becoming the first priests to be ordained in the Archdiocese of Mobile since 6 years prior! So...please keep praying for more priests!!!
He served his first year at St. Ignatius in Mobile and recently was made a pastor after being a priest for just over a year! He has been assigned to oversee 5 parishes in SW Alabama!!! The fiefdom... or frontier... or lower quarter of Alabama to which he is assigned covers about 1,600 square miles (from my approximation)! So we need to pray for Wayne as he stays on the move in his new assignment.
Fr. Wayne seems to be doing very well and is enjoying getting to know all of the good folks down in SW Alabama. In just a few weeks...maybe days...Archbishop Rodi will be visiting Fr. Wayne so as to officially install Wayne as pastor over these parishes.
Fr. Wayne was passing through town yesterday to visit family and rest a bit. I was able to invite myself over for dinner and catch up a bit which was a real treat. Thanks Wayne. I'm still enjoying that steak! haha
Today I decided to take a couple more pictures of St. John's and the surrounding area. Enterprise High School used to sit right in the back yard of St. John's. However, a devastating tornado hit the high school on March 1, 2007, devastating the grounds and killing 8 children and 1 elderly lady. One of the kids was a parishioner here at St. John's. Since then the High School has been rebuilt at a different location...and it is really nice...and really huge...and really impressive.
It is a tragedy that people still vividly remember and continue to morn.
The old football stadium was not damaged and still remains in use by various athletic teams in town.
View of St. John's from the back lot, with my back to the stadium
Home Bleachers and Press Box
Our neighbor to the left is Hillcrest Baptist Church. They have a huge church which has also built an elementary school on the other side of the football field. The sheer size of Hillcrest compared to St. John's on its right is an apt depiction of the number of Baptists vs Catholics down here in the Wiregrass.
Here I am standing on the far side of the track surrounding the football field. From there, you have a really nice view of St. John's. Particularly the Cross which looks down over the field always.
1 Cor 1:18 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Galatians 6:14 But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Have a great evening.
May we be foolish, and embrace the Saving Power of the Cross.