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A Watchword, A Motto, A Battle Cry


Our Lord Jesus Christ

As a First Year student in Quigley Seminary at the age of fourteen in 1933, I heard of the unusual story of a Fourth Year student, Anthony Benesch.  This young man, the leader of his class of 200 students, had the custom of writing at the top of all his papers these words: “All For Jesus.”

Somewhere, Anthony had heard of the wisdom of doing all things for the Lord Jesus.  Perhaps he had read St. Paul’s words, “Whatsoever you do in word or in deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus.”  So he began to place this watchword on all his class papers.  His classmates “needled” him in a good natured way, but this did not keep Anthony from continuing something he considered vital to the life of his spirit.

Even through his later years in the Major Seminary at Mundelein, where he excelled in his studies, Anthony kept proclaiming the reason for all his dedicated work, “All For Jesus.”  No one in the past 80 years has followed his footsteps with such a forthright declaration of one’s goal.

After Ordination to the Priesthood in 1941, Father Benesch was assigned to teach at Quigley Seminary, a work which he continued for the next forty six years, until his death in 1987.  Always the quiet, unassuming person, Father Anthony carried out his duties of teaching in the same conscientious way he showed as a young student.

I taught with Father Benesch for twelve years at Quigley Seminary, and every time we met in the Faculty Room or in the hallways, I could only think of his story of his watchword, his battle cry, “All For Jesus.”  His convictions had sunk into my way of thinking, even without myself realizing it.

In our personal struggles with the happenings of life, we could well adopt this motto, “All For Jesus”, as a reason to have courage and to fight valiantly for the cause of the Lord.  Into every life come sufferings of all descriptions, with their physical pains, heartaches, and disappointments.  I can accept these stoically, without any reference to the Lord and to the sufferings he underwent for us.

On the other hand, we can give glory and praise to Christ by lifing up these painful times to Him by saying , “All For Jesus.”  Then we suffer with Christ Who comes to our side to stand with us in these dreadful moments of darkness and despair

Fr. George Mc Kenna

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February 18, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins

3 Comments »

  1. What a beautifully written message today, Fr. George! That simple act of saying “all for Jesus” seems so easy but it has never occurred to me until reading this today. I hope to make this my mantra especially during difficult times! Thank you for the beautiful message and for all of your wonderful writings.

    I was thinking about you the other day and how drastically you changed my life since first hearing you speak at Midway Airport Chapel back in May of 2008. I’m sure that God and the Holy Spirit put me in that airport on that day and in time for Mass – to bring me closer to God through your wonderful words. GOD BLESS YOU, FR. GEORGE!

    Love,
    Nancy

    Comment by Nancy | February 18, 2012 | Reply

  2. All For Jesus

    Love your Anthony Benesch story . . . reminds me of the dear sisters we had in grade school . . .Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ . . . who taught us to write “JMJ” (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) at the top of our every work paper and test paper . . . had forgot about that ’till you fished it back for us . . . going to start doing that again or maybe “All for Jesus” as well . . .

    A very special thanks for this and for all your heart-warming inspiring thoughts and words dear Father George!

    A big smile here,
    mary lou wingert

    Comment by Mary Lou Wingert | February 19, 2012 | Reply

  3. Right on Fr Mckenna All for Jesus!

    Paul Krueger ( Quigley 1958 freshman )

    Comment by Paul Krueger | February 20, 2012 | Reply


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