“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.
If there is one thing that humanity has learned to do over the last year, it is to wait. Wait while in quarantine. Wait until we “flatten the curve.” Wait for a vaccine. Wait for an appointment to get vaccinated. Wait to see your loved ones again. Wait for the economy to open again.
Here in the Diocese of Brooklyn, there is a deeply respected and highly regarded Roman Catholic-Jewish dialogue where leaders of both faith traditions come together as thought-partners to discuss critical theological and social histories and attitudes.
When I was in eighth grade, I almost suffered a heat stroke in Death Valley during a family road trip through the Southwest. Conditions on that day were particularly brutal, and thankfully a nearby country store stocked dry ice.
This coming year will undoubtedly be challenging on many fronts. In the model of St. Francis de Sales, and with the sanctity of journalism in mind, good journalism in 2021 can be a community builder that joins us in the common knowledge of what is happening, what to believe and how to move forward.
Much has been written in the secular media on President Joe Biden’s overt Catholicism and how that might challenge the already complex and daunting tightrope walked by Catholics in the public square.