Meet Fr. Don, the surfer priest

This is a great video about a priest who surfs: Fr. Don Calloway.  But that’s just the beginning.  He’s got a great story — and a great message. YouTube Preview Image

Curious for more?  Check out his website.


  1. Beyond how awesome that clip was, Fr. Don’s backstory gives me hope for my own prodigal son.

  2. That was great!

  3. I have met the man and attended his talk in our diocese. Very inspirational and prayerful priest. He has become so popular and in demand. We need to pray for guys like this because I think “celebrity” clergy get special temptations because the enemy would love them to fall and disillusion many.

  4. Lucifer don’t surf!

  5. Father Don is also very Marion. At least in the California area, he is usually one of the guest speakers at the Marion gatherings. I’m suprised he didn’t mention Mary in his video.

  6. Donal Mahoney says:

    I am familiar with Father Calloway’s story and it is an impressive one. But when I first clicked on the “Deacon’s Bench”this morning and saw the headline, “Meet Fr. Don, the Surfer Priest,” I realized that I am not so open any more to “feel good” stories about good priests doing normal things. Fr. Cutie, as I recall, did normal things before leaving the Church to wed and become an Episcopal priest.

    I guess, despite the fact that I pray for at least 7 priests daily, I have been affected by all the bad press about a very few priests that has surfaced in the last decade. It is probably going to be a while before I can enjoy a story like this again. And before I can once again “feel” about priests, collectively or individually, the positive way I once did. I don’t have negative feelings about them. I’m just numb or neutral and always waiting for the next shoe to drop.

    I don’t know how to shake a feeling like this other than to pray. Reading stories like “the surfer priest,” nice as they are, doesn’t help my situation but I hope they cheer up most Catholics, laity and clergy alike, who read them. Some day I hope to “feel” the way I once did.

  7. I disagree with the concept that one can unload their sins to a priest ( man ) and then walk a way feeling cleansed when scriptures clearly say that one is to speak directly to God: Joshua 7 :19 // Matt 11 : 28 ,29 and of course there is 1 Tim 2:5 which states ” there is only one God and only one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus “. The apostle John says in 1 John 2 :1 that if any one should sin we have an Advocate ( One who will intercede for us ) with the Father it is Christ Jesus who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose , thought and action.

  8. This is all true, there is only one mediator between God and man, Jesus. The priest is acting in persona christi, in the person of Christ. Christ gave his apostles the AUTHORITY to forgive sins (John 20:23). This is different than giving the POWER to forgive sins. Only God can forgive sins (Luke 5:21). Jesus gave them the authority to ask God to forgive someone’s sins with the guarantee that they would be forgiven immediately (under a few conditions: the person must be sorry for them, and have the intent not to do them again). He gave them the power to act as God in the sense that they have the power to guarantee that their sins would be forgiven, and to do it immediately. God is not physically present before us in the form of a human being anymore, so He gave us humans to watch and to hear give absolution for our sins, so that we would never forget the humanity of God the Son, and as a way for us to visualize the invisible.


  1. [...] Fr. Don Calloway has a great story of conversion and redemption. H/T Deacon Greg. [...]

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