In Persistent Evil, The Demon Slayer, Fr. Oliver is a priest who finds himself in a fight with demonic evil that threatens the Catholic Church. Fr. Oliver is a cross between Bruce Lee and Billy Graham. His character was inspired by Fr. William McConville, a Franciscan friar at St. Francis of Assisi in Raleigh. He is a great homilist and a friend to all. His stories about encounters with people and everyday life are the type that could fuel a series of novels for a long time. The Double XX commercials got it all wrong. They should have cast Fr. Bill as “the most interesting man in the world.”
As we are introduced to Fr. Oliver in the book, he has a curious encounter while getting a hair cut. The dialogue between him and the hairdresser is pretty close to what actually happened to Fr. Bill. Those that have seen him in a short sleeve shirt know that he’s got some serious muscle, which comes from years of body-building. He does not fit the stereotype of a typical priest. This often results is amusing reactions by those that assume he’s a race car driver, bouncer, or maybe a US Marshal.
I’m grateful to Fr. Bill for sharing his real life stories with me and for being such a great role model as he passionately shares his faith.
I am happy to know this unusual and devoted man of God.