Skateboarding priest becomes YouTube hit

Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:35am EDT
 
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BUDAPEST (Reuters Life!) - A Hungarian Roman Catholic priest has become a YouTube hit with his distinctive method of spreading the word on wheels.

The Reverend Zoltan Lendvai, 45, who lives and preaches in Redics, a small village on Hungary's border with Slovenia, believes skateboarding can open the way to God for young people.

The video of him in action, Funny Priest Skateboarding, has so far attracted close to 170,000 hits and now also has a music version.

Lendvai says he follows the ways of Saint John Bosco, an Italian priest and educator in the 19th century who dedicated his life to improving the lot of poor youngsters and used games as part of their education.

"Many times I have felt that this is the way I can bring many people a bit closer to Jesus," he told Reuters.

He learned the skills of skateboarding at the age of 14 at school but it was only later, when he served as a priest in the town of Kormend in northwest Hungary, that he realized the impact his skill could have on youngsters.

He said three boys aged between 16 and 18 who had never attended church before started coming regularly after he showed them a few skateboard tricks.

His first board bore the papal coat of arms and he has since given away at least six to his young parishioners.

The video is here

(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Steve Addison)