Fed by the Father


There’s Fr. Sebastian, who I called, sobbing, from the hospital, who dropped everything to travel the four hours to come to my dad’s funeral, who I talked to nearly every day in the weeks after my dad’s death.


There’s Fr. Solanus, who had just so happened to lend his first-class relic of Bl. Solanus Casey to the sisters, which miraculously made its way to me before I rushed home to be with my dad, and who has been available to talk at the drop of a hat.


There’s Fr. Val, who I saw the morning my dad died, who welcomed me into the sacristy after Mass and wrote down my dad’s name in his notebook and continued to pray for his soul aloud at Mass for days afterwards.


There’s Fr. Mike, the first priest from my earliest memories, who rushed to Suburban Hospital to anoint my dad the day he died, who preached a life-changing homily to a church half-full (or more) of non-Catholics.


There’s Fr. James, who had been at the parish near me all of four days when he met me and heard my (literal) sob story, who sat with me in the last pew after Mass and listened as I told him of my grief and sleeplessness and heartbreak, who gives me counsel and calls me out and makes me laugh.


There’s Fr. Daniel, with whom I spent a few days in Poland five years ago, who reached out right away when he heard the news, showing me the utmost care and concern and support.


There’s Fr. Charlie, who hadn’t heard from me in years, but welcomed me with open arms and received my broken heart with such kindness and gentleness and gave me advice which I rebelled against at first but which, of course, ended up being the very best.


There’s Fr. Gill, who called and emailed and prayed, who continues to be so available, affirming, gentle, and good to me—as he always has.


There’s Fr. Gleason, my old spiritual director, who got in touch right away and bolstered me with his encouragement and kindness and prayers.


There’s Fr. Bill, who heard my tearful confession days after my dad died, who readily agreed to be my new spiritual director, who listens and responds to me with such wisdom and care and love.


There’s Fr. Giuseppe, the former lawyer, who gave me legal counsel as I was floundering under the weight of trying to help my mom sort out an insurance debacle.


There’s Fr. Jeremiah, who seemingly came out of nowhere and agreed to direct my private retreat and has made himself radically available to me and has empathized with my insomnia and has made me pull over to the metaphorical side of the road when I was acting like a crazy person.


And there’s friar after friar after friar who wrote and offered Masses and prayed novenas and answered my sometimes tearful phone calls to MBS and remembered my family and me day after day after day and has communicated to me the greatest tenderness and compassion and generosity I think I have ever felt in my life.


And here I thought I was fatherless.

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