Homily: St Boniface

Back to my interrupted series, of homilies from our 30 day retreat by my favourite priest:

The Election, vocation, and priesthood are on my mind today. I'd like to talk about priesthood. Growing up I didn't really like priests. Some of my relatives had gone into schism, and therew as a general distrust of priests. There were very good priests when I went to university, though. The first was elderly, and very humble. At the university very few faculty are humble, and this Jesuit had a high position there. He didn't really have the qualifications for it, but that's where the Jesuits sent him; that's just the way they did it in those days. When I went on the cruise, we had classes, and then when I got back the school didn't want to give me credit for that year. So this priest wrote the courses and credits on my transcript, and that was that. The second was very kindly. The guys who lived on his hall would bowl down the hall, right outside his room, loudly playing the 1812 Overture. This priest came out of his room, and all he said was, "Can't you listen to something more tasteful?" The third once told me something, I won't tell you what it was, but it was a hard truth lovingly but firmly put. These men were always there for us. I stayed for a time with a Protestant minister and his family. I saw that his family always came first before his people. But priests don't have this family to attend to. What struck me about those priests was that they were always, always, there for us, even when we didn't care, or were bowling in front of their room.

One more man I want to talk about, he wasn't a priest, he was a layman. He had come to the States as a stowaway, and lived here illegally working as a stone mason for many years. He was like a father to me. Eventually he returned with his wife to Italy, and when I was there studying we were like family. I would come over every weekend for dinner. When I was going back to the States, he was walking me to the station, a man of 92, and this is what he told me: "Don't talk much, listen a lot, and do the good that you can."

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