What You Get When You Have A Video Editor/Worship Leader, Middle School Youth Minister, Engineer, and Police Officer…

…is a really awesome Catholic house!

Several years ago, my cousin was thinking about moving out of her parents’ house. I mean, what young adult doesn’t think about doing that? Here’s the thing though: she wanted to move into a house with some of her friends that was something like five minutes away from her parents’ house! And I made fun of her for wanting to move out to a house so close by because that seemed like a stupid idea.

Well, I’m such a hypocrite.

But at least I’m not a hippo…

I moved out of my parents’ house into a house that is a three-minute drive away.

Long story short, I’ve been living at my parents’ house for the past several years after graduating from college. I wasn’t really motivated to move out into my own place or even somewhere closer to work because it was more cost-effective for me to stay at home and not pay rent so that I can knock out some of my student loans (yes, I did create spreadsheets (I like Excel)). Not only that, but my parents didn’t mind at all and even encouraged it.

After a few years though, I had a growing itch to move out. The itch grew as I’ve put some dents in my loans. One of my new friends at my parish, The Middle School Youth Minister, expressed one day about perhaps getting an apartment together because he wanted to move out of his parents’ house. The initial interest never really bore fruit and was put on the backburner. But I still cheated on Facebook (as in, infidelity to time spent on Facebook) by looking at different apartments in the area and such.

One day, at the beginning of this year, The Middle School Youth Minister friend calls me up and says that his boss heard about a rental house opportunity. His boss was a member of a band back in the day, and one of the boss’ bandmates was about to have a vacancy on his rental property. I guess my friend had talked with his boss about wanting to move out, and that’s how all this came to be.

The initial info was for sure enticing: $950 monthly rent, 3 bedroom house, 2 bathrooms, and a fairly large backyard. We just couldn’t go check it out yet because the current renters were still in residence. I my friend, The Middle School Youth Minister, that I’d be brown (like down, and because I am) for moving into this house. Because it was three bedrooms, we considered who else to ask to fill the the third room so we could split the $950 monthly rent three ways. That’s when we had the idea of asking our friend, The Police Officer. And he, too, was brown for it (like down, but he’s not brown (now it’s an inside joke)).

Somehow in the process of us doing initial talks for this house, a new roommate appeared! The Middle School Youth Minister’s boss had done some talking within several degrees of separation, and we landed a fourth roommate, The Video Editor/Worship Leader, who also happens to be a third cousin to The Middle School Youth Minister.

Lo, and behold! A rental house of four guys splitting $950 monthly rent! That’s so much cheaper than any apartments I was looking at, and cheaper than any mortgage I would normally find myself in.  We had a Buffalo Wild Wings dinner meeting and decided that this for sure something we all wanted to go through with.

This worked out because all four of us are single, Catholic guys with jobs still living at home with our parents. And now this opportunity of a house popped up, seemingly at just the right time? How could we not pass it up?!

When Buffalo Wild Wings gives you cardboard cutout Kodak moments…

We’ve actually been living in that house for several months now. It’s been pretty fantastic!

I think it’s really cool that we’re all Catholic men living in this small community of a house. We’re all around the same level in terms of our faith, so it makes it really easy to talk about real, Catholic topics. I’ve already had a good handful of late-night conversations with some or all of my roommates regarding stuff like life in general and our life in faith. Conversion stories, chastity, the beauty of woman, authentic masculinity, the brokenness of the culture (and police sub-culture), abortion, proper postures during liturgy, proper Church teaching on homosexuality, lives of the saints, miracles, and the list goes on. Besides the Catholic things, we nerd out on conversations about firearms, our jobs, music, video games, food, chores, lawn care, etc.

Personally, this living arrangement helps motivate me to really live out my Catholic faith because my housemates strive to do so, as well. Not only that, but I look up to them by their own witness and example of what it looks like to have a real, genuine relationship to Christ and His bride, the Church. We can hold each other accountable in the Christian life in many different aspects. It’s really awesome when one of us has the idea to go do something Catholic like pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet, pray Liturgy of the Hours, or go to Mass, and invite the other housemates.

The Middle School Youth Minister, myself, and The Video Editor/Worship Leader walking on our way to Daily Mass

In practice, I’ve realized that we all have vastly different schedules.  Between our jobs and our different levels of involvement in parish life, sometimes there are extended periods of time where I don’t see all or a few of my housemates at all. However, we all agreed to make Tuesday night our “bro night” in which we commit to hanging out with each other in some way. Most of the time that has been dinner and a movie night. Every now and then that means attending a Catholic event like an Opus Dei night of recollection, Theology on Tap events, or Young Catholic Professionals meetings. Sometimes that means joining other men of our parish for a night of 60 cent wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. And Tuesday, at the very least, is when we all pray Night Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours together.

While I have not given the aspect to this story its due on how this all came together seemingly “just right” and with ease, I think it means that we’re all meant to be in this house together. Already, I see great potential, great awesomeness and have already experienced some of the benefits to this house of Catholic men.

So whew! I finally moved out (three minutes away) from my parents’ house! And now I live in a house with some awesome Catholic men where we can lift each other up and grow in holiness as we strive to be the men that God created us to be!

More stories worthy of blogging to come, I’m sure.
– JD

Hippo // HowStuffWorks