So Marion and I went to see the Muppet Movie last night after putting it off for a few weeks. It reminded me of my friend Fr. Eric Andrews, CSP. Why?

Fr. Eric used to work for the Muppets before he was ordained to the priesthood and now he’s making movies at Paulist Productions in Los Angeles. He just helped produce a Hallmark Movie with Betty White this past Valentine’s Day.

But while he’s this groovy TV and Film guy, I remember him as Fr. Eric. The cool young recently ordained priest who gave clever homilies where he sometimes (ok MOST of the time) sang a Frank Sinatra song to make a point about the gospel. He even sang “Young at Heart” to Marion and I at our wedding.

Moreover, I often remember him as a friend. Someone who would make sure that young people were included in the church and who reached out to them. He would look for people’s gifts and include them where they would contribute. He asked me to help him and Fr. Brett Hoover, CSP start a young adult group and that probably changed my life and inspired me to leave the media–but not completely, changing a career from a media focus to a ministry.

Just like he did.

When Fr. Eric left the Muppets, they gave him a Kermit with a Priest’s collar on. It sits somewhere in his office. I think it’s been people who can express joy in their priesthood who have brought much life to me. So Fr. Eric, this one’s for you…

May you never be so afraid to mess things up that you stop being a joyful priest. See ya in the movies.

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