Thursday, August 17, 2006


Today is my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary and their first child's birthday. It's hard to believe the number of years that have passed for them all. God and the years have been very good to them.

This same day is also my 10th anniversary of entering the Society of Jesus. It seems like only yesterday. I also feel very much at home. Again God and the years have been very good to me. I continue to marvel at God's patience and graciousness: it took me a dozen years as a diocesan priest to realize that God had blessed my life with two vocations, priesthood and religious life.

Today my sister and brother-in-law's anniversary and niece's birthday give me pause to realize yet a third, hyphenated vocation: brother-uncle. Families are thanked for giving the church sons as priests, and religious communities thank families for giving them sons and daughters to enlarge their orders.

Ten years ago the provincial who accepted me into the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus did that and more. John thanked my sister (my only sibling), too. Elaine and her family have shaped me in ways as invaluable--and inexpressible--as our parents shaped me to respond to Jesus invitation to be his Jesuit Companion and to serve the church as one of its priests.

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