I attended the ordinations of Matt and Dennis last Saturday at the University of Notre Dame and then attended meetings of our Holy Cross pastors this week. The ordinations took place in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart where I was ordained on this day in 1983. I am deeply grateful for my priesthood and for the holy encounters with people, relationships that teach me about the love and mercy of Jesus.
I hold on to these beautiful moments around dinner tables and altars with longterm friendships and new friends along the way. Here are some examples from this past week. These are moments I celebrate as a priest.
Linda, a graduate school classmate and I shared dinner for nearly four hours.
Steve and I toasted at dinner because the MRI revealed his MS is stable.
Jim, a former co-worker, and I spent several hours reminiscing. I am always inspired by his genuine integrity.
During the crowded reception after the ordination, a seminarian told me he is leaving Holy Cross. I am deeply honored to hear the reasons of his transition.
I learned a former co-worker and his wife are expecting a boy this summer.
I learned that a former parishioner died of an overdose this week.
Bob is preparing for his mother’s death.
There were about twenty Holy Cross men at the pastors’ meetings talking around a large table.
I prayed at the statue of Saint Andre Bessette in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the church where I was ordained.
I comforted the mother of one of the men ordained on Saturday just before his first Mass at the Basilica on Sunday telling her that nervous mothers have sat in those pews for over a hundred years.
Sue, Angela and I were told that we were allowed only two hours in the restaurant for Saturday breakfast. We eventually gave up our seats. We were also “ssshhh-ed” in the church just before Dennis’ first Mass on Sunday because I was laughing.
I prayed at four Masses at the Basilica: the ordinations, one first Mass, a daily Mass presided by a cardinal from Nigeria and a memorial Mass for Fr. Elizondo, a former Notre Dame faculty member who took his own life in San Antonio.
I visited Uncle Tom and Aunt Pat in the nursing home twice and prayed with them.
I prayed at the graves of my mom and dad.