A Catholic Priest Walked into Target Today…

By Fr. John Lankeit:

Though I have already signed and FULLY support the American Family Association (AFA) boycott of Target for putting kids (especially little girls) at risk of sexual predators in Target bathrooms, I also took an additional step suggested by an article I read recently on the Target policy.

Fr. John Lankeit takes the Target boycott one step farther.

The article suggested going into your local Target store, asking for the manager and respectfully expressing one’s deep concern and disappointment in the corporate policy. As a Catholic priest and a pastor of a parish with thousands of parishioners and with a TV Mass that reaches many thousands more, I wanted the manager to know that I was not coming in as an isolated individual but on behalf of many Catholics who aren’t going to sit on the sidelines for this one.

So, I met with Joseph, the on-duty store manager, introduced myself and handed him my business card (“God card”). I told him that as an individual, I regularly shopped at this particular store for everything from socks (black of course!) to toiletries to the best orange cranberry nut muffins on the planet. I then explained I have a parish with thousands of parishioners, many of whom, if they take their relationship with Jesus seriously, intend to find alternatives to Target. I “targeted” the corporate policy (instead of saying “you”–as in “you, Joseph”) that puts little girls in danger because any man can, under the “guise” of this policy, hide behind the euphemism “gender” and go into a girls bathroom with impunity.

To put a finer point on the whole conversation I said, “If any organization has learned the hard way the importance of protecting children, it’s the Catholic Church. So you can imagine, this troubling policy hits very close to home for me.”

I think, if anything got his attention, it was THAT comment because it showed a willingness on my “organization’s” part to face reality when grave evil entered into the picture and children were deeply hurt and damaged.

I did not do this today because I have a lot of hope that it will change Target’s policy–that’s what the online petition aims at. I did it because planting the seeds of Truth is not optional for a Catholic–and this conversation with Joseph may have opened HIS mind and heart enough to make him rethink his personal “policy” on the consequences of looking the other way in the face of very evil and immoral activities in our culture…which always, ultimately, damage children the most.

If you REALLY care about this issue, please go in and talk to the manager and your local Target store–RESPECTFULLY and without any “vibe” that makes them feel attacked, personally.

It’s not about changing corporate policy as much as changing the heart of the person in front of you.

I think Jesus would consider this approach to be…”on Target”!


P.S. – Would you do Courageous Priest a favor and share this info with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Email right now? We truly appreciate it. Or leave a comment, we would love to hear what you think.

15 comments to A Catholic Priest Walked into Target Today…

  • Maria de Los Angeles Sanchez

    Saint Padre Pio would have done the same thing. I have faith in Fr. John Lankeit will lead me and the world Jesus.

  • Don Wilson

    Any group of people that can mentally condone, aid, and extol the murder of 3,000 defenseless unborn, partially born, and even completely born babies every single day of the year for 43 years is capable of any heinous behavior given the opportunity.

  • Mary E, Grove

    Thank God there are brave priests who follow God and not some bishops who don t have the courage to say what is right. And thanks for the brave bishops who follow God and not the almighty dollar.Mary E.Grove

  • Mike Hurcum

    To write what would Jesus do is a gnostic heresy. I find it tantamount to telling Jesus what he should have dome. What did jesus do is the right question?

  • Patricia Patterson

    God will richly bless you. Thank you for saying “Yes” when God asked you to serve Him. My son, an employee at Target,now, and a former seminarian, suffers abuse from many over Target’s policy. He is so unhappy there, but refuses to see the Way to his happiness.

    Please, as I pray for you, and corporate America, could I ask you to pray for him.

  • Debbie McNeil

    Thank you Father for taking time to do this! This company has also shared anti military and anti American! mind set! often. I believe we are beating a dead horse!

  • Jude Trevino

    This is a wonderful action you took and a brave one! I especially loved the attitude in which you presented this to the Target manager. Thank you and may the Lord bless your actions with many changed hearts!


    I went into the Target store by me in
    Brick NJ (Thursday 5/26/16)
    I asked for the Manger, he was very nice. I spoke to him about the bathroom issue. He took me over to see that they have a men, women and unisex bathrooms. I told him about boycotting Target and please speak to corporate about my concerns.
    One employee walked over to me and thanked me for being diligent regarding this matter.

  • Jarrod Swearingen

    Definitely need more courageous priests like Fr. Lankeit! Thank You, Father!

  • Bella Greer

    Thank you Fr. Lankeit for your wisdom and leadership to all of us Catholics. I love what you say here and yes I will go in tomorrow and ask for a Target Manager. Thank you for being such a strong priest and a good shepherd. So glad you belong to one of our parishes.

  • Lis

    First of all, I want to thank God for the courage He reigned upon Rev. John Lankeit for standing up for all God’s children that would be affected by Target’s policies. May God continue to bless Rev. Lankeit with courage and perseverance in defending our catholic faith. On the other hand, if by any means Target’s policy can not be changed due to so much media attention or for whatever excuse there may be, etc., then Target should consider assigning a third restroom (a distance from the Ladies and Men’s room) so that “others” would have their own area of privacy as should all involved.

  • E.Ross

    A possible solution, is to have all stores be required to REMODEL their restrooms like our Hy-Vee grocery store here in Overland Park. They are all spacious individual restrooms for anyone to use, handicapped people,or parents with babies. This is an ideal situation and solution. Instead of maybe 6 tight stalls have 4 private, spacious restrooms that will keep everyone safe.While the cost may be an issue,it will be well worth it for peace of mind and for safety for all while presenting these stores as places customers really want to patronize.

  • Mary

    What an inspiration. Let’s do it!

  • katie walsh

    We need more priests like him’

  • Reeny

    Praise God for courageous priests, like Fr. John Lankeit, who take their ministry as shepherds of souls seriously. We need each and every one of you desperately in these times of spiritual warfare to guide us through the maze of secular confusion and deceipt. Will be praying for you daily. Thank you!

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