Priest with a message that's wrapped in rap
September 23, 2014 - The Millenium - Written by Mark McKean

YOUTH 2000ís Vigil on New Yearís Eve at the Metropolitan Cathedral attracted a special guest from America.

         Franciscan friar, Fr Stan Fortuna, 42, from the Bronx district of New York, arrived in Liverpool for a brief, two-day visit 
         to the city and the Cathedral.

         Fr Stan joined the community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in 1979 and was ordained as a priest in 1990.

         His involvement with the Youth 2000 organization goes back six years, when it started in America, when he was invited to 
         join in events co-ordinated by the group.

         The appeal of a celebration aimed at youth in the Metropolitan Cathedral was the attraction for Fr Stan to celebrate the 
         Millennium in Liverpool. He said: "I would have preferred to have been home for the Millennium with my fellow 
         brothers. But the fact that it was possible for young people to gather in the cathedral on the Millennium to do something 
         important for the jubilee year was a great attraction to me.

         "I have had plenty of experience doing national and international youth events. It is good to see a deep hunger for God in 
         the young people wherever I go."

         He added: "Many people have a deep need, but they donít know what it is. These people might have a lot of money, but 
         they are still miserable.

         "Without Christ it is all in vain. But with Christ, it is difficult, but it is possible and itís worth it. The possibilities are 
         endless with Christ, and the peace that comes with them makes it all worthwhile.

         "No material goods can do that."

         Music plays a large part in Fr Stanís ministry. He has been involved with music all his life, and for the past 12 years he 
         has focused on rap. He has made two recordings of his music - all of which have Catholic themes such as abortion, sexual 
         morality, and the family.

         He said: "I like to think that my music can help people. I have heard that some women have found one of my songs on 
         abortion, called ëNever Been Borní, helpful after going through the horror of abortion.

         "All the money that is made from my music goes to work with the poor."

         A group from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are arriving in the Kenning Town area of Londonís east-end in the late 
         spring or early summer to found a community to meet with British vocations into the community.

         Fr.  Stan added his first impressions of Liverpool and the Metropolitan Cathedral. He said: "From the outside, the 
         Cathedral looks like a big concrete spaceship. But inside, especially the Crypt, the brickwork and the design is absolutely 
         beautiful. Itís a very nice place to pray and worship."