Letters to the Editor

Cathedral’s Role Models

Dear Editor: In this year of vocations, the recent passing of Msgr. Conrad Dietz reminded me of how important to a vocation to the religious life is the example of priests and religious like him, and how we should tell them that while they are alive.

From sometime in the seventh grade until late in my college years, I seriously considered a calling to the priesthood. That calling was sparked by the example of Father Jerome Schmidt (also now deceased) who had been a priest in my first parish, St. Francis of Assisi in Brooklyn and later in my second parish, Queen of Angels, Sunnyside.

Later at Cathedral Prep, I was fortunate to be inspired by the example of the priests/ teachers there and again at Cathedral College, Douglaston. where I was taught by Msgr. Dietz.

While he is gone, others like Msgrs. Phillip Reilly and Vincent Keane are still providing the example of living a valued religious life. In particular, I was reminded a few years ago about the example of Msgr. Keane while attending the annual Immaculata Dinner at Douglaston. Msgr. Keane had been speaking with many of the attendees and was on the top step about to leave the dining room when he heard the call to prayer by Bishop Chappetto. Rather than keep walking back to his room, he stopped and prayed with us. I can only hope and pray that today’s young people may be inspired to answer the call when they witness the model life of priests like him.


Glen Oaks, L.I.