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'God or the Girl': goofy title, good series

By Matt Abbott
Catholic Online

I was given an opportunity to preview four out of five episodes of God or the Girl, a reality TV series that will air April 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23 on the A&E Network.

I must admit I wasn't overly enthusiastic about watching the shows, especially given the silly title and this story on But, truth be told, I found the series interesting and even moving at times.

God or the Girl profiles four young men discerning a call to the Catholic priesthood. The following are their bios:

"Joe Adair, 28, a campus counselor at John Carroll University in Cleveland, has already been in and out of seminary twice and is now considering whether to enter for a third time. Unlucky in love and under family pressure to become a priest, but still uncomfortable with the idea of celibacy, Joe knows that his perpetual indecision has cost him much of the last ten years of his life.

"Dan DeMatte, 21, is a second-year student at Ohio Dominican University. A fearless and passionate Catholic, he lives with nine other celibate young men in a house they call 'Fort Zion.' But for all his confidence in his faith, Dan is still very young and can't yet say whether he is cut out for the priesthood. Plus, his on-again, off-again relationship with girlfriend Amber only confuses matters more.

"Steve Horvath, 25, shocked his friends and family back in Virginia by leaving his job as a high-paid consultant to become a campus missionary at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Now shaking off the comforts of the privileged life he once had (and could still return to at any time), Steve finds himself simultaneously drawn to and terrified of the level of sacrifice he must make in order to truly heed God's call.

"Mike Lechniak, 24, grew up idolizing his parish priest, Father Pauselli. But a deepening relationship with girlfriend Aly has brought Mike to the breaking point. With the two paths--priesthood and marriage--laid out before him not only starkly, but in need of immediate action, Mike knows that he must make his choice between God or the girl, or risking losing both."

All four men appear to be sincere, prayerful and intelligent, and are gracious when seemingly asked by the producers to talk about their sexual experiences and thoughts about celibacy. DeMatte even reveals that while he's never had sexual intercourse, he hesitates to call himself a virgin because "of the things" he's done in the past. (Oh, in the interest of full disclosure, yours truly is heterosexual and has not engaged in any type of sex. Sorry to have to say "type of sex," but, in this day and age, I feel I have to clarify that.) Joe Adair is the one with whom I most identify. We're closest in age -- I'm 30 -- and we seem to have similar difficulties in regard to romantic relationships with women. Adair wants to cultivate a relationship, but isn't quite sure how to do so. He tries, but then again, he doesn't try as hard as he could. He's conflicted, and that inner conflict essentially destroys the affections of one potential "soul mate." (I, too, had considered the priesthood, but I don't think it's my calling.)

One of the young men makes his decision early. I won't give away his decision here, but I will say I wasn't surprised by it.

All in all, I have a great respect and admiration for Joe, Dan, Steve and Mike. They don't have their heads in the sand. And they're witnessing to the Catholic Faith, all the while allowing a national audience to see their personal trials and tribulations as they discern their future vocations.

God bless them.


Matt Abbott IL, US
Matt Abbott - Author,



Catholic, Abbott

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