Posted by: fvbcdm | May 29, 2012

Feast of Saint William Arnaud (29 May 2012)

I have on my desk an announcement of graduation from high school.  The graduate is an 18-year-old young man whom I have known since before he was born.  During my two years as Catholic campus minister at Emory University in suburban Atlanta, his father was one of my most faithful students.  I’ll call the father Gene.   He came to Mass daily if possible; we threw a frisbee for exercise on the lawn of the law school just across the street from our Catholic center.  I tried to persuade Gene to join our Dominican Order, and he thought about it seriously.  But there was a young lady in the picture, and he married her shortly after his graduation from law school.  Now, this young man who is graduating from high school is one of the six children that that union has produced, all of them very fine young people.  

So  when I look at the graduation photo that the young man sent to me, I have, I suppose, the same kinds of thoughts and feelings that all of us “old folks” have as they see time passing,  life going on, and one or more new generations taking their place on the stage of life.  I remember Gene, his father, when he was about the same age as the high school graduate is now.  And as I look at this new photograph, I hope that this young fellow will be as fine a man as his father is and that he will reflect many of the virtues and qualities of his mother, who writes wonderful letters each year giving news of herself, her husband, and their children.  Would that ALL children could have parents like that! What a different world it would be!  

This past Sunday, we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  The birthday of the Church, as we saw.  During these days of Easter and its aftermath, thousands of people around the world, both young and old, have come into the Church by Baptism or, if they had been previously baptized, by Profession of Faith.  They will be some of our most devout, fervent, and active Catholics.  Let us pray that they, as well as the cradle Catholics among us, will give to the Church a new level of goodness and of authenticity. This young fellow, Gene’s son, is probably concerned principally about where he will go to college, what he will major in, and then what career he will pursue.  There are many possibilities for him.  If I were to say anything to him, I would encourage him to follow the example of his parents, and to be a saint.  That is what is REALLY important in life, for the young as well as for us. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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