Who is Father Guilherme Peixoto, the DJ priest (blessed by the Pope) who made the WYD boys dance

Who is Father Guilherme Peixoto, the DJ priest (blessed by the Pope) who made the WYD boys dance
Who is Father Guilherme Peixoto, the DJ priest (blessed by the Pope) who made the WYD boys dance

Techno music, world famous hits like Jerusalema And The Nights of Avicii interspersed with Glory in remix version and from some sentences of Pope Francis and Saint John Paul II.

Thus, at dawn last Sunday, as the sun came up at Campo da Graca in the Parque Tejo in Lisbon, Father Guilherme Peixoto, priest and deejay, he woke up over one and a half million young people who had arrived the day before to participate in the vigil and the closing Mass of Pope Francis for the World Youth Day.

Peixoto, in fact, on one side of the altar set up for the celebration, held a very animated dj-set in front of the boys who danced to techno notes and as many bishops and priests, wearing their liturgical clothes for the Mass, who hinted at some dancing and above all they enjoyed taking pictures of the priest, deejay and the dancing crowd.

Peixoto, 49, belongs to the Portuguese diocese of Braga and has had a vocation for music since he was a boy.

For seventeen years, in fact, in addition to being a parish priest, he has also carried out the parallel work of deejay. In 2006, as soon as he took office at the helm of the parish of Laúndos, in Póvoa de Varzim, in northern Portugal, he inherited a heavily indebted parish.

He came up with the idea of ​​opening a bar, which he called “Ar de Rock Laundos,” where volunteer parishioners served drinks while others organized karaoke. «It is not a cafe, it is not a bar and it is not a club», he wrote on Facebook, «it is much more than a physical place. It is a spirit oriented towards conviviality between generations, to family reunions, where we try to make everyone feel at home and socialize without prejudice or age restrictions».

Father Guilherme enjoyed and became so passionate about this place that he rediscovered his old passion for music by playing turntables in front of customers. He learned on the field, but he wanted more. He enrolled in a DJ school to become a pro. Up to sharing music with 1.5 million young people in what is, at dawn on Sunday in Lisbon’s Tejo Park, has become the largest open-air disco in the world.

In November 2019, to demonstrate his attachment to this parallel life as a deejay, during a meeting in the Vatican, he had asked Pope francesco to bless his headphones. “During the meeting with the Pontiff”, he said, “I began by telling him about my passion for choral music and electronic music and then I asked him for the blessing of the headphones, a request to which Francis consented with good humour” .

Very present on social networks, where he posts videos of his performances and defines himself with three words – priest, military chaplain, techno music – Father Guilherme Peixoto is up Facebook, Instagram (where he has 202k followers), YouTube and obviously TikTokthe social network most loved and frequented by teenagers.

Father Guglielmo was a rebellious type as a child and when he entered the seminary at the age of 13, he took everyone by surprise. No one expected him to become a priest, but his family always believed in him and supported him in everything.

He was born with several health problems and there was little hope of his survival. However, with all the risks he ran, his parents decided to take him home: «Even if I didn’t make it, at least I would have spent that first night at home and not in the hospital. I was immediately baptized in the hospital,” he said. When he returned home, his family was always by his side praying and together they made a promise: if he survived they would offer him to the Lord, that is, he would become a priest. Coincidences or not, what is certain is that it really happened.

“I don’t know if my vocation was influenced by this promise made by my parents when I was a baby”, he explained, “I only learned this story several years after I became a priest.”

When he entered seminary, he joined several groups: one playing rock, the other popular songs. And on the weekends he went to the disco “while continuing to attend Mass and classes during the week, of course”, as he explained in an interview with the French Catholic weekly Le Pelerin, «by being a deejay I want to show young people a vision of the world, to tell them that on the dance floor we are all the same. And when I transmit the messages of Pope Francis and John Paul II, I create a mix of faith, God’s message and music that excites young people». There are obviously some faithful who criticize him to which he responds with a smile. “I’ve always had the trust of my bishops, and that’s what I want to continue to do,” he told Le Pelerin.

Thus the parish priest uses the dialogue to explain to his detractors that he is “applying Francis’ message: go where there are young people”.

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