The rumors are true; the English prefer tea to coffee.

At least, Fr. Dylan James does, and though he’s technically half American and half Welsh, his upbringing was in the English seaside town of Torquay. In the southwest corner of England, Torquay is known as the English Riviera due to its beauty and its popularity as a seaside tourist destination.

When asked his thoughts on why Americans don’t drink much tea, he quickly responded with a chuckle, “Because you threw it all into Boston Harbor!”

Fr. Dylan has served for years as a pastor in England, but currently he is serving as a seminary professor at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH. With summers off from teaching, he happily accepted an invite to join us for the first three weeks of Summer Camp 2021.

To have a priest from England with us is an awesome reminder of the universality of the Church. All over the globe, faithful priests are praying the mass every moment of every day. It can be easy to forget how large and vast and universal the Catholic Church is – that is, until a priest from England visits Reedsburg, WI and uses the word “bloke” in a homily.

Fr. Dylan’s Welsh father and his American mother met while they were both studying at Purdue University in Indiana. He has great pride both in being an American citizen and of his father’s Welsh ancestry.  Almost all his priesthood, however, has been spent serving in the English diocese where he was ordained, and with which he strongly identifies himself. Predominately a Catholic nation for centuries, great suffering was brought upon faithful Catholics in England during the middle part of the last millennium. The Church stayed alive in England during those turbulent years because the faithful took the Church underground. His priesthood in England is only possible because faithful English Catholics wouldn’t allow the Church to be snuffed out.

It is a great gift to have Fr. Dylan at Camp Gray for these first three weeks of Summer Camp. At the heart of his priestly ministry is the New Evangelization – the movement in the Church to inspire baptized Catholics to ever-deepen their faith and to reach out to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ. With that, he has loads of experience working with youth and young adults. He’s been a perfect fit, and we’re hopeful that future summers will include Fr. Dylan!

Please join us in welcoming Fr. Dylan to the Camp Gray family! And not to worry, if you’re visiting later in the summer, our entire summer lineup of priests is fantastic!


From the Desk of: Christopher Aderhold