Today at Holy Spirit parish, where he’s served since being ordained in June 2005, Father Searby brings that sense of holy adventure to youth — and makes promoting confession a keystone of his priestly ministry.
“He has a great zest for life and particularly seems to connect with young people,” says Father Edward Hathaway, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, Va. “They’re attracted to him for his enthusiasm as a priest and his love for the Church, which is evident.”
Holy Spirit’s youth minister, Christine Najarian, sees that process constantly unfolding. “He gets kids excited about seeking the Lord and growing in holiness,” she explains. “He definitely models it and speaks it.”
No wonder the number of attendees for the church’s annual teen retreat weekend nearly doubled this year. The number of boys quadrupled. Afterwards, when Najarian asked the young Catholics where they’d grown most, she consistently got the same answer: in confession.
“Father preaches a lot on the need for confession,” she says. “The kids have taken that challenge and now make confession an important part of their lives.”
You can also hear Fr. Searby preach on his podcasts found here.
Fr. Searby does not try to attract young people to the Church by making the Church blend in to the popular culture. Rather, he gives the young and old alike the Truth of the Gospel. He speaks clearly about sin and about forgiveness. He promotes reverent liturgies with a generous helping of Latin. He is ardently devoted to Our Lady. He brings to life the stories of the saints. Our parish is so blessed to have him.