Surfing Priest Spreads the Good News

Geo Beats
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Called “the white wolf,” Father Rene-Sebastien Fournie helps others begin relationships with God while riding the waves.

You probably don’t expect to see a priest in his traditional robes on a sand-filled beach, but that’s exactly what beachgoers see regularly in southwestern France. Called “the white wolf,” Father Rene-Sebastien Fournie helps others begin relationships with God while riding the waves.

After studying in Rome for 6 years, the 39-year-old athletic skier and fencer felt called to serve the local youth who can be found in bars at night or on the beach during the day.

Fournie began surfing lessons. In addition to his wetsuit, he puts on a dog collar signaling his life’s purpose of humbly serving Jesus Christ.

Initial shock or indifference turned into close bonds of friendship. One 20-year-old said, “Everyone is intrigued by him…He's a simple guy and he talks to everyone, so it goes down well.”

Many surfers’ profound respect for nature and its laws leads to them discussing nature’s creator with Fournie.

Fournie explained, “It’s not unknown for me to hear a confession from someone in the middle of a street at midnight, or to see young surfers or partygoers come and pray at the cathedral. I spread the good word, it works and brings them back. It's not in vain.”

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