September 10, 2022
On Friday, September 10, 1982, I professed final vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross along with three classmates. The late-afternoon celebration took place at Sacred Heart Church (now the Basilica of the Sacred Heart) at the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana. The four of us were ordained deacons the following day, Saturday September 11, 1982 in the chapel at Moreau Seminary on the campus of Notre Dame. Bishop Richard Hanifen ordained us deacons. He served the Colorado Springs Region of the Archdiocese of Denver and later was the first bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs in 1984. We requested Bishop Hanifen to ordain us deacons because we were the first class in the novitiate in Cascade, Colorado in 1978-79. He is now 91 and retired in Colorado Springs, CO.
A few weeks before I professed my final vows, I was standing in a group of Sisters of the Holy Cross. I was conversing with Sister Katherine Reichert, CSC., who was very ill at the time with bone cancer. She was vibrant and influential in many lives. She stood on two crutches in the middle of those religious women. I could smell her approaching death. We chatted about my decision to make final vows.
She asked me with great intention, “Are you ready?” I said, “I am ready today. However, 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 centered and whispered,” Well, when the next forty years are not promised, it sure makes today seem all the brighter, doesn’t it?”
Sister Kathy died shortly after I professed vows. I remember this conversation as if it were yesterday. I just can’t believe it is now forty years later. I still feel like a spiritual beginner. Recalling this conversation still challenges me to live in the moment, to celebrate what is and not what I hope will be or what I shall become. A lesson for all the ages, from a holy woman to a young man. I am grateful for the days and now the years as I begin the next forty…
Dear Fr. Ron,
Congratulations on 40 years in Holy Cross, and the anniversary of your Deaconate ordination. I think it’s more than just ceremonial that deaconate ordination preceeds that of priesthood, because it places the proper emphasis upon “service”, and you indeed have served and continue to serve our Lord and His church! Many many more happy and enriching experiences are ahead! Love, -Danny Z-man
Kathy Reichert? Her parents, Babe and Phyllis, my folks friend and godparents to one of my sibs……? Her brother, Steve, a Vietnamese nam vet, who never returned? Oh I ant to believe this is the same family. We were childhood friends. Congratulations on your 40 th! And here’s to the next ADVENTURE ….. such deep condolences 💐 in the loss of your brother. Rest In Peace; comfort and strength to you and family . RoseMary Hitchcock
Definitely “Ronny the Kid”😄
We are so grateful that you have part of our lives for years 31 thru 39!
Eddie and Anita
Continue to live in the moment. Blessings, Katherine
The moments of today are “the good old
days” of tomorrow. Let us intentionally live in the present.
Be well. Be safe. Be happy, Fr. Ron!
Thank you for sharing this with us Father Ron. Congratulations o 40 yrs…you have been and still are just an amazing blessing to Gods people…heres to 40 more…thank God for you