The Catholic Hipster
Being a bit of a hipster is in my blood. Growing up, I have always been different. I knew it from an early age. Though I tried to conform, I always felt different. When I had my conversion in the seventh grade, I began to accept that I was a little different and really started to express it.
Self expression? Meet Catholicism.
Being a Catholic in a Canadian Catholic grade school was a very hipster thing. You’ve been going to church with your parents and yet do not believe a word you say? I met the King, and my life was changed. Memorize the Nicene Creed for a class? Pssh, I knew the Nicene Creed off by heart, no need to study it. Actually care about the Sacrament of Confirmation? That’s me, oh and did I mention, I actually got to experience the activation of some of the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit in my life?
Show and Tell your hobbies? Alright – Catholicism! BAM! Who has a crucifix supposedly blessed by the Blessed Mother? THIS GUY! Who collects books of the writings of the Saints? This kid! Relics? Got em. At the ripe of age of 13- this was my start.
Dating? I kissed dating goodbye! I was single and going on dates with Jesus. Movies? Done. Ice cream? Done. Brought my bible and had a grand old time, just me and my King.
While kids were going off to sports camps I was shipping out to join the Young Apostles at the Steubenville Youth Conferences. Too young for the program? Had to be a Junior or Senior in High School? Pssh, I was just going into the 9th grade. They accepted me anyways. Why? Catholic hipster!
Get a spiritual director?
Me: 13 year old here, fighting to become a Saint, can you help?
Me: You’re hired!
Join the first Life Teen parish in Canada? Done. While my friends were learning how to play Freebird, I was learning how to play “Lord I lift your name on High”. I’m not ashamed…okay maybe only a little.
Music quickly became my route of self expression. I was the quintessential “I listen to bands you’ve never even heard of” dude. That’s right. While my friends were wearing brand names, I was wearing band names. You like Skillet? I was part of the original Panheads. People who love that band now have no clue what that means. That’s because I was into them before they were big. Thousans Foot Krutch? I was into them when they played rapcore. What’s rapcore? I’ll tell you when you’re older.
Start a Catholic punk band? Alright. I was wearing chains and Chucks. Spiked bracelets and spiked hair…to Mass. Oh but I genuflected before I received on the tongue like a boss. Come down to the Ice cream social after Mass? No thanks, I’m too busy hanging out with Jesus in His Prison of Love.
Go to the Canadian March for Life? Meh. How about I talk about Abortion for class projects? School Dances? Ha! While my peers were grinding I was praying the rosary for them. Lunch time was no time to sit and play cards…head to chapel baby, hang out with Jesus. Then go and hang with my other friends. While the dress code was in effect, I still wore my Abortion is Homicide hoodie. When challenged by the Principal, I told him, “My hoodie is more catholic than your dress code”. He smiled and said “Move Along.” Good man!
Prom? While kids pulled up in Limos, I pulled up in my priest’s PT Cruiser, which, might I add, had a huge Christian Fish on the back, and we were blaring Christian screamo. Going to the After Prom party?…No gracias…Going to the Eucharistic adoration chapel in my duds, to pray for those who would fall that night.
Begin feeling a call to become a secular Discalced Carmelite at the age of 17. Have to be 18? Push the envelope. Therese did it, so can I.
Go to college after high school? Meh, Missionary work is so choice.
Go to Uni after, and go to Franciscan University. Bet you did not see that one coming. Why go to Steubenville? Orthodoxy. Closest Catholic university to me? 20 minutes away. Not orthodox. Most kids go there and lose any semblance of the faith. I don’t want to waste my time nor my money.
Call of Duty? Lame. Halo baby! Oh but make a Catholic team with a monstrance as our symbol. In the Lord’s name we crushed the enemy!
Take your girlfriend on a romantic trip and to ask her to marry you? Not this guy. Take her to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception while on a roadtrip with your friends and ask for her hand in front of Jesus in the Tabernacle. Oh and did I mention, I secretly prepared with her for it by completing the Consecration to Mary of St. Max Kolbe? Yeah I’m that guy.
Start a Catholic blog with my friends, for fun. Whilst the vast amounts of “catholics” on my facebook remain silent on issues of life and liberty, I fight, tooth and nail, to proclaim the Truth with Team Orthodoxy.
3rd Edition of the Roman Missal? New words? Seriously? Go to the Latin Mass. I’m serious. I was sayin “And with your spirit” long before it was mainstream. So was the Church…but that’s a topic for another day.
St. Francis? St. Therese? Great Saints, love em…too mainstream for me though. St. Peter Julian Eymard? Alright.
All in all, I’m a straight up hipster. All grown up, and I’m still a hipster. I go on pilgrimages for vacations. I’m still the crazy metal head…albeit Christian metal, who goes to shows, has long hair, wears band tees and chucks. If you’re looking for me at Mass, look for the guy who doesn’t fit -The bearded long haired dude, who kneels to receive His Lord on the tongue in Communion, who still kneels after communion unlike the majority of his diocese.
For the longest time, especially in my high school years, I really took my identity in these things that made me a hipster. But I came to quickly realize shortly thereafter that these are not my identity. If all of these were to pass away, I am a son of the Father. Jesus is crazy about me, and the Holy Spirit dwells in me through Baptism. Though these things that I like are good, they are not my identity, but only a small expression of who I am on the inside. There is this stupid idea, that I believe comes from the very pits of Hell, that states that once you encounter the Lord and give your life to Him that He will change who you are. This has not been the case for me, nor for any real Catholic that I know. He does not destroy you, but can lead you to a place where you can be authentically who you are. So my challenge to you? Be authentically who you are, in Christ. If you don’t know who you are, ask Jesus to show you how He sees you. He’s absolutely crazy about you and wants you to be truly happy. Seek God and in seeking Him, you will find yourself.
In the Immaculata,