On Friday, September 10, 1982, I professed vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience forever in the Congregation of Holy Cross. The evening celebration took place at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. The following day on Saturday, September 11, 1982, I was ordained a deacon by Bishop Richard Hanifen from the Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colorado. That ceremony took place at Moreau Seminary on the campus of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana.
A few months before I professed my final vows, I was standing at a party with a group of Sisters of the Holy Cross. Sister Katherine Reichert, CSC was very ill at the time with bone cancer. She stood on two crutches in the middle of all those religious women and we chatted about my decision to make final vows. She asked me, “Are you ready?” I said, “I am ready today. I worry about forty years from now. I do not want to be an old-fart priest. The last thing the Church needs is another old-fart priest.” Sister Kathy laughed and then she became very serious and said, ” Well, when the next forty years are not promised, it sure makes today seem all the brighter, doesn’t it?”
I remember with great fondness this story just before my final profession. I am grateful for the days and now the years. I ask your prayer for me and our religious community.