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Friday, October 24, 2014

Priest Dance-Off a You Tube Sensation...

A pair of American priests have become a You Tube sensation, after their tap/Irish dance-off in Rome, earlier this year was captured on video and posted by EWTN's Joan Lewis.  

Rev. David Rider, 29, of Hyde Park, New York, and Rev. John Gibson, 28, of Milwaukee, were in seminary, studying to become priests at the time, and took the stage to entertain the crowd at a fundraising dinner for the North American College, an American seminary, just a stone's throw away from the Vatican.

The video has gone viral and gotten over 700 thousand views.

Fr. Rider, who is now a priest with the Archdiocese of New York and was featured in a Catholic News Agency story several years ago, see story below, started dancing at the age of two and once toured professionally with the Broadway show 42nd Street.  He says he was inspired to become a priest, after some discernment, while watching the funeral of St. John Paul II, who chose the priesthood over his passion for acting.

When he realized the millions of people that were affected by the late Pope's decision, he decided to trade in his dancing shoes for a Roman collar.  He has never looked back since.

Meanwhile, Fr. John Gibson, who was ordained in Milwaukee last May, was a former dancer with the Cashel Dennehy School of Irish Dance and started dancing at the age of 12. 

As expected, not all the comments on You Tube have been favorable but Fr. Rider answers, "We would just refer them to the Bible, where the Lord tells us to live with joy."

"I don't dance as much as I use to.  It's not possible in this vocation.  But, when I dance, I say, the biggest difference is that I dance with a different intention.  I no longer dance for myself, or even for the joy of dancing, but I dance with the desire to bring forward the Kingdom of God.  Because, now when I go, I go in a collar."

St. Catherine of Siena once said, "If you are what you should be, you will set the world ablaze."  With or without their dancing shoes, that is what both priests intend to do...

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