Friar Gabriel skated for seven years as a teenager in Australia, but when he began sensing a call to the religious life, he prepared to abandon his skateboarding to live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
He joined the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in Toodyay, Western Australia, and for six years he never touched a skateboard.
But then one day his superior gave a surprising assignment. He ordered Friar Gabriel to obtain a skateboard and go to the skatepark once a week, where he would evangelize and witness to the religious life.
Friar Gabriel obeyed. After spending time within the skaters, he realized they shared a connection: both friars and skaters see themselves as counter-cultural. In their mutual rejection of worldly values, they both stand open to new paths in life.
Friar Gabriel’s witness has connected him with scores of people, mostly young men, who otherwise would never encounter Christ or his Church. Check out this evocative new short film from Spirit Juice Studios highlighting his work:
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(If you’re having problems seeing the video, click here.)
By the way, that moving voice you hear? It’s Friar Gabriel. He not only performs all of his own stunts but sings his own songs, too.