Monday, February 8, 2010

fatherhood and art

This past weekend I had the very cool--and somewhat chance--opportunity to meet the executive producer of Grassroots Films, Joe Campo. I also met with him Cliff Azize, one of the two main "actors" in the amazing movie-documentary, "The Human Experience." The website is

Here's Cliff, Joe, and Fr Benedict, so you know who I'm talking about:

I'd like to request prayers for Joe who is struggling with some health issues. I met him in a hospital here in Arizona where I had celebrated the Sacrament of Anointing for him. In the small but growing world of Catholic films, Grassroots is a bright light.

A short reflection: what a blessing to meet Joe Campo, though at an unfortunate time health-wise. Joe struck me as something like a "lay" Fr Benedict Groeschel: a tough New Yorker, and a holy, loving man who radiates genuine Fatherhood. A power reminder to me of how real holiness is, and must be, if it comes from an incarnate God.

At one point I asked Joe how many sons he has, and he said very matter-of-factly, "Two biological sons, and nine spiritual sons." And he meant it, not a drop of sentimentality. The way he said it made it unmistakable: these young men are his sons, he is their father. Someone else in the hospital room added, "And they'd have to come to be with Joe if he'd let them." (They're in New York, he's in Phoenix.) Fatherhood is an objective spritual reality, which may or may not have a biological origin.

For years he has been a father-figure at the St Francis House in Brooklyn, founded by Fr Benedict Groeschel in 1967, to be a safehaven for young men looking for a new start in life. What amazing the work.

The young men from the St Francis house in Brooklyn:

Another one with Fr Benefict and Joe Campo:

Again, please pray for a fast recovery for Joe Campo, a truly great Catholic man at a time when we're in desparate need of more like him.

1 comment:

  1. "Art of the Father," a young man's tale of the lessons instilled in himby his father. Please read it at