COVID-19 has been a life-altering experience for many. But, I can’t imagine that any graduating senior thought they’d finish one of their academic milestones at home because of a pandemic.
In the summer of 2011, when I was still a seminarian, I traveled to China to participate in the centennial of the founding of the Maryknoll missionaries. While there, a priest from that community told our group that the life of a missionary is fundamentally to “go where you are needed.” An evangelist must always be ready to leave surroundings that have become familiar and even comfortable for the sake of the Gospel.
As I wait to be ordained a priest of Jesus Christ in two weeks, I cannot help but feel in awe of how the Lord is preparing me to receive the grace of being ordained.
For 45 years, the Hyde Amendment has prevented Americans’ federal tax dollars from funding most abortions. Named for former Illinois Congressman Henry Hyde, it’s a rider attached to various appropriations bills and renewed annually. Now, President Biden has joined some members of Congress in denouncing the policy as discriminatory and calling for it to be scrapped.
As the current semester drew to a close at St. John’s University, green grass bloomed under blue skies on the Great Lawn of the school’s Jamaica, N.Y. campus. All that seemed to be missing were the typical throngs of students enjoying that kind of day.
“Where will you be in 10 years?” That is the question I asked those making the Bishop’s Vocation Retreat last month. Of course, there is no way of knowing where we will be in 10 years; in fact, there is no way of knowing where we will be in 10 days. However, this retreat was all about being open to wherever our path could lead.
Every morning, as we wait in the drop-off line at school, my daughter Rose and I share a pack of Belvita breakfast cookies. It’s usually my breakfast, half of it siphoned off by an already fed (but quickly growing) 3-year-old who is about to have quite a full day in her pre-K classroom. I usually don’t mind sharing.
According to legend, this latter goldfinch witnessed Jesus carrying the cross on the path to Golgotha to be crucified. Moved by the intense suffering of the man, the goldfinch alighted atop of Jesus’ head and began to gently pull the thorns out of his head in an effort to ease his suffering.
These three gentle men — a doctor, a man with special needs, and a parish priest — reflect the nobility of soul so needed in our world. I say thank you, thank you, thank you. Your lights will shine forever.
It was a year ago on March 14 when the first death from COVID-19 was confirmed in New York City. It was that same date that the Diocese of Brooklyn suspended public Masses and our parishes ceased public worship in order to help mitigate the spread of the virus, deadly to so many.