AMSTERDAM, NY, May 2, 2014 ( – Conservative columnist Brent Bozell is reporting that a Catholic priest in his wife’s hometown of Amsterdam, New York, has declared this year the “Year of Lady Gaga” for students at his parish school.

Fr. John Medwid, chaplain at St. Mary’s Institute, announced the unusual theme during the opening Mass at the start of the school year, and explained his reasoning to parents in the school’s annual newsletter.

“In September at the opening Mass, I officially announced that this was going to be the Year of Lady Gaga at SMI,” Fr. Medwid wrote. “Many people may not realize that Lady Gaga is the product of Catholic education.”


Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, attended Convent of the Sacred Heart school as a child growing up in New York City. She returned to the school in 2011 to perform a concert for students there as part of her “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” television special. At her alma mater, she sang the words “I’m a free b—-, baby” through a plastic microphone designed to look like male genitalia.

In his letter, Fr. Medwid praised Gaga as “someone who followed her own path” and hailed her as a courageous role model for Catholic youth. “It takes a great deal of courage especially for young people to blaze their own trails in life!” the priest wrote. He said he also wanted “to highlight her immense creativity.”

However, Bozell, a faithful Roman Catholic, took a dim view of Father Medwid’s assessment.

“Why Lady Gaga? Was every other living or dead female or male on planet Earth or anywhere else unavailable?” he wrote. “Exactly which trail blazed should Catholic children find commendable?”

“Maybe it was the video ‘Alejandro’ he found so immensely creative. In it she dressed in a nun’s habit, swallowed a rosary and engaged in simulated erotic activities with her male backup dancers…Maybe it was her 'Marry the Night' music video in which she depicts herself having an abortion.”

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Bozell noted that Gaga is so well known for her homosexual advocacy that President Barack Obama once joked at a gay event, “I took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga.”

“Was [Father] Medwid impressed when Lady Gaga said of Pope Benedict XVI, ‘What the Pope thinks of being gay does not matter to the world’?” Bozell asked.

Bozell said Fr. Medwid’s assertion that the reasoning behind his selection of Lady Gaga as a role model for SMI students was “complex” was “a euphemism for scandalous.” He pointed out that Adolf Hitler was a product of Catholic education, too.

A communications officer with the Diocese of Albany told LifeSiteNews that diocesan officials only learned of the “Year of Lady Gaga” today via Bozell’s article.

The diocese is now investigating the situation.

SMI told LifeSiteNews that principal Giovanni Virgiglio was out of town for a meeting and unavailable for comment. Fr. Medwid, did not return a message left on his rectory phone by press time.


Bishop Edward Scharfenberger
Diocese of Albany
Phone: (518) 453-6611
E-mail: [email protected]

St. Mary’s Institute
Giovanni Virgiglio, Principal
Phone: (518) 842-4100

St. Mary Parish
Fr. John Medwid, Pastor
Phone: (518) 842-4500


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