Thursday, October 16, 2014

Priesthood: Closeness to the People

On October 15th the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I'm pretty good at associating particular events with particular feast days.  In other words, I remember somebody's birthday or anniversary because I think to myself, "Ah . . . today's the Feast of St. Nicholas.  It's Joe's birthday today."

So yesterday when I recalled that it was St. Teresa of Avila, I remembered a young man whose birthday is on that feast.  The photo that I've included on this post is that young man on the day of his First Communion.  He's twenty now.  He's grown since then.  In fact, most of the time that he was my altar server, he towered over me.  On many Sunday nights for many years, I had dinner with him, his parents, his four sisters, and his two brothers.  They are a great family.  From the friendship that I shared with his family, other friendships grew, and our parish grew and strengthened.

I sent a text to his mother and father asking how is it possible that this son of theirs is twenty now?  Seems impossible.  But, I'm grateful that I got to see his parents raise him and his siblings from toddlers to young adults.

Priesthood is lived close to the people.  Without that closeness, it all becomes a theory.  I'm grateful for that closeness.  That closeness teaches me how to be a priest.  I learn how to be a priest from eighty year olds, seven year olds, and twenty year olds.  Wouldn't trade it for anything.

1 comment:

  1. Love that photo Padre! We can hardly believe he is twenty either. The most beautiful thing about Christian friendship lived is that we help each other through our vocations. A person’s talents, sacrifices, joys & sufferings...all their individual experiences, when shared, become a beautiful bouquet instead of just a pretty flower. The vocations of the Church encourage one another, educate each other. Then a good meal, a beer and a few laughs are “icing on the cake”. Our friendship has benefitted us and our children as much as it has you. We are grateful for that friendship too. God Bless!