Calif. pastor helps Catholic singles find each other in his parish
By Jehán Seirafi, The Desert Sun
PALM DESERT, Cal., Jan. 2, 2006 (www.desertsunonline.com) - I don't think God wants people to be lonely," says the Rev. Howard Lincoln of Sacred Heart Church.
So, he decided to do something for the singles of his parish of nearly 8,000 in Palm Desert - he figured a Catholic singles group would be a perfect ministry.
The Catholic Church and a singles group doesn't seem the likeliest of pairings, but every week, dozens of folks from 30 to near 80, gather at the church parish hall to worship, mingle, drink and dance.
Catholic Singles Incorporated, as the group has been dubbed, is "where faith and fun meet and marry."
Rose Sweet, who heads the newly formed crowd, emphasizes the fun aspect: "Being holy and spiritual doesn't mean you have to be dull, dry and boring."
That's where the DJ and bartender come in.
When asked about serving alcohol at a church sponsored function, Lincoln says with a stern face, "Of course, this is the Catholic Church you know," followed by a grin and a gleam in his eye. "Everything in moderation," he follows, making sure his joke is understood as only that.
Lincoln's youth and exuberance, not to mention his understanding of the realities of today's society, assure that this is not your mom's stuffy church mixer.
His is a modern church, and he wants everyone to know. Lincoln also wants all to feel welcome. He's even built a putting green in the back of the church, chuckling that "golf is a sacred game, decreed by the Bible."