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Fr. Masteller at his homecoming mass in 2021
Rev. Michael Masteller (’13) at a 2021 Mass of Thanksgiving at Thomas Aquinas College, California


As an author at Theology of Home, which is dedicated to renewing the Christian vision of womanhood, TAC mom Noelle Mering, mother of Abigail (’22) and Jack (’25), was, no doubt, a formidable presence at a debate she recently attended in Los Angeles, “Has the Sexual Revolution Failed?” But as she recounts in an article in the National Catholic Register, three of her fellow attendees in Roman collars made an even bigger splash.

Rev. Michael Masteller (’13), an alumnus priest who serves at St. Helen Catholic Church in South Gate, California, came to the debate with two of his brother priests of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles because, as he tells Mrs. Mering, “The Church is still greatly interested and concerned with the culture and wants to listen deeply to the hopes and struggles of this age.” 

“All three priests are deeply engaged in the intellectual life and invested in the struggles of those in their pastoral care,” writes Mrs. Mering. “That they’d be eager to attend this event seemed unsurprising. What I should have anticipated was the degree to which they would quietly steal the show.” Indeed, while she was amused to see the priests in the crowd, many others were more than a little bemused. That includes a writer for Vanity Fair , who called the clerics “a group of extremely handsome priests, or handsome men dressed like priests.”

But given the theme of the debate and the open-minded approach of its sponsor, The Free Press, no one should have been shocked to see celibacy represented. “The spirit of the evening and of The Free Press is one of unsettling the settled grooves of secular dogmas in pursuit of truth,” writes Mrs. Mering. “Three young men who have freely given their lives in their entirety for the sake of that mission fit into the evening in a far deeper way.”

Both Mrs. Mering and Fr. Masteller were happy to see this pursuit of truth in action onstage and among their fellow attendees. “I sensed a communion not on the level of belief (it was quite a diverse crowd!) but on the level of desire,” he says. “There was a common desire for truth, for a deeper and more honest conversation, for an intentional path forward.”

That the event took place at all — within sight of Hollywood and at the prompting of a secular organization — was itself reason for hope. “To even question the success of the Sexual Revolution in a secular context reveals that something is not going right,” Fr. Masteller said. “I was curious to see in what way the culture today understands and engages this profoundly important topic of human love and sexuality.” 

Read Mrs. Mering’s full article in the National Catholic Register.