Adolfo Huerta Aleman, known to his parishioners as Father Gofo, is not your usual priest. He looks and dresses like a rocker, likes going to bars, loves pictures of naked women,smokes, swears, and tells jokes during his sermons. He’s probably not the only Catholic priest with odd hobbies, but unlike most, he’s open about them.
At one point in his life, Gofo wanted to enroll in the military. Then he thought about becoming a policeman, a firefighter or a teacher, but he ended up as a priest in the Mexican city of Satillo. He says his ultimate career choice was probably influenced by the values passed on to him by his religious family. But for him, entering the Church didn’t mean leaving everything he loved up to that point at the door. That included his love for rock culture, his passion for motorcycles or any of his vices. On the contrary, he decided to let his unique personality play a big role in his profession, as a way to reach those for whom conventional religion held no appeal. He continued dyeing the end of his black locks red, wore skull rings and bracelets in church, rode his chopper around town, and even referenced rock songs during Mass. Obviously, all that didn’t sit well with many of his conservative parishioners, but it got him closer to members of the community that would otherwise be inaccessible to the Catholic Church.
Photo: Adolfo Huerta Aleman/Facebook
When he first came to the parish of Our Lady of Atocha, in Satillo, Father Adolfo Huerta Aleman attracted a lot of attention with his unusual look and attire. After attending some of his sermons, many of the parishioners threatened to leave his church if he didn’t change his ways. They were used to pious religious figures dressed in white, and associated his rock music, the skulls and inverted crosses on his black t-shirts and his musical references with satanism. It was a rough start, but he didn’t give in to pressure, and in time managed to convince them that despite his unconventional look and habits, he was a good person. He earned the trust and respect of both his parish and the regional bishop, Raul Vera Lopez, who shared Gofo’s commitment to human rights.
Photo: Luis Salcedo/VANGUARDIA
There are those who still don’t approve of him wearing his church clothes over black t-shirts with skulls or naked women on them, or cracking jokes and referencing rock music during Mass, but Adolfo knows by now that he can’t please everyone. He’s just being himself and doesn’t think it creates any kind of conflict with his profession. His room also reflects his personality; it’s decorated with posters of Che Guevara, Batman and even naked women showing their best assets, which he admits sometime bother his female friends. He is quick to clarify that he’s just an admirer of the beautiful female body, and that there are no filthy or profane thoughts associated with that. He also thinks Playboy is a “good read”.
The Rock’n'Roll Priest, as Adolfo has come to be known is often sent to some of the most dangerous neighborhoods around Satillo, places where no one else dares enter. His laid-back attitude, the fact that he’s able to relate to the common folk precisely through the things that others believe render him incompatible with his holy profession, make him the perfect man for the job. He likes to blend in and believes it’s much easier to connect with people at barbecues, parties or bars, than it is in church, where people hardly look at each other and only hold hands when they’re asked to. Love him or hate him, Father Gofo’s got a point there.