by Javier Mosquera (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Faro de Vigo
Joan Enric Reverté, Padre Jony, founded his first band, Seminari Boys, while he was in seminary. He studied voice, piano, and conducting and later electric guitar and singing in various contemporary music academies. He is pastor of San Pedro Apóstol on Les Cases d´Alcanar, in Tarragona, and he created the Fundación Provocando la Paz, which finances solidarity projects in Guatemala, Sierra Leona and Equatorial Guinea.
He was the opening act for Rosendo in a concert, which he remembers fondly, held in the Castrelos auditorium in Vigo five years ago in the middle of August and is now preparing for another performance in Tui, Galicia on Saturday the 24th that coincides with the installation of the new bishop of the Diocese.
Did they know about this coincidence?
Yes, the organizers left it that way. The idea is that after the installation at the cathedral, everyone goes to the concert...
Are you going to go to the cathedral?
It won't be possible for me to go. We will be involved in installing the equipment and making sound checks.
You aren't new around here, you have already been at Castrelos. Do you have good memories of it?
It was a great celebration, a very exciting concert. The young people thoroughly enjoyed themselves and, indeed, that's where I met the organizers of the concert on the 24th, Juventud Unida en Marcha (Youth United on the March), they thought what I was doing fit with their approach and hence the performance in a few days.
Are you planning more performances in Galicia?
No. Despite it's being a Holy Year, there is nothing planned. I propose celebrating a rock Mass in the cathedral of Santiago, which would be the high point of the Xacobeo.
Do you know this part of Galicia well?
I had occasion to walk through Vigo and went down to Portugal. I sensed the warmth of the people, who recognized me. The landscape is very beautiful.
You're a pastor, you give concerts, you promote solidarity organizations...Where do you find the time?
It's all a matter of good coordination and being tired a lot. I try to prioritize at every moment. Sometimes it's the parish that takes more of my time, especially during the designated feast days, at other times it's the concerts or preparing an album...It's all integrated within me, I don't have any free time...
And the concerts?
More and more places are calling for me. People are not indifferent to what I do and I think that's good. My style and social commitment are valued. Young people see strong and powerful elements such as peace and solidarity.
Do you find mistrust within the church itself?
"Well ... It's not up front, but it's there. In the back, some would like to close doors, but it's a small part. Most are excited, because they see this as a breath of fresh air.
And among your older parishioners?
The young have always been my priority, and they need more support and more opportunities, but as a diocesan priest I am "all-terrain" and I notice a certain mistrust among the seniors who ask themselves: What will become of us with a "long hair"? But those prejudices are falling away.
Do you have imitators now?
There are some priests who have finally decided to do something similar, but not as groundbreaking. They are singer/songwriters or they celebrate more youth Masses. Others promote social values that young people can better identify with.
In your songs, you touch on social issues. Have you ever taken up the hot topic of pedophilia?
We have to be blunt. They are a small part [of the Church] and do a lot of harm. That has to be brought to justice and to God, and if they are sick, let them be treated. If things are done differently in the Church, this could be avoided in the future. We must thoroughly investigate what loneliness or illness there is, to prevent harm to innocents. Celibacy is generosity but if it is not borne well, it can be a disaster.
Listen...Which of your songs have been most successful?
“Pescador de hombres”, “Aborregau”, which is the hymn of the Plataforma Antiaborregamiento, and “Las tribus”, the rock and rap version of "Qué alegría, cuando me dijeron, vamos a la Casa del Señorrr..."
Photo: Padre Jony opening for Rosendo.