Priest celebrates sacraments under the big top

Posted by Katie Loftus
Monday 23, May 2016 | Category:   Catholic culture,Mission & Evangelization
Vision 2016 Loftus 1 Fr. George "Jerry" Hogan, baptizes Bianca Marinelli during Catholic mass and sacraments of initiation at Circus Vargas in Burbank, CA.
Father George "Jerry" Hogan speaks with Ariyana Rivera, who was confirmed at a Catholic Mass at Circus Vargas in Burbank, California.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Father George "Jerry" Hogan is celebrating the sacraments with circus performers, allowing them to work around busy performance schedules and make time for their faith. Recently, 11 members from the Circus Vargas troupe—mainly the children of performers—took their next steps into the Catholic faith with Confirmation.  

Father Hogan understands that for many of the performers there is not much free time outside of practice and performing. He said, "They do three shows on Saturday and three shows on Sunday, so it's impossible for them to go to church." He has been ministering to circus performers for more than 22 years, and he even has circus vestments.

He is not alone in his suprising ministry. Sisters Dorothy Frabritze and Mary Seibert help to prepare performers and their children for the sacraments while on the road, and transform the center ring into a space suitable for Mass by adding an area for Baptism and an altar.

The performers are grateful to have Father Hogan to minister to them. Josue Marinelli, who received his First Communion and was confirmed by Hogan a few years ago, said, "My older daughter was also baptized by Father Jerry. It's kind of like a family tradition, which is hard, working in the circus because we're always traveling around. Luckily, we have Father Jerry to help us out."

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