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The Story Of A Priest


All thecrucifix following happened some 31 years ago.  A priest, a Father Peter, in his mid-60s’ came to live with me in a parish where I was Pastor.  At the end of the year, 1982, Father Peter– always in poor health – died; a sad occasion for me.  Often in times of honest disagreements, he had the happy faculty of saying, “God bless you.”  These words, “God bless you”, immediately threw a new dimension of peace and good will into our discussions and strengthened our friendship.  Try this in disagreements.

On the first day when Father Peter reported to the Parish, he spoke a few words of awesome humility that I will never forget . . . “I can’t do much, but I’m better than no one”. . . This highly educated man, with a superior intelligence, a gift of preaching prophetically, a rich knowledge of scriptures introduced himself with this simple statement, immediately winning my heart.  True humility always captures the hearts of those who come in contact with it.

Without exaggeration, of all the priests in Chicago, Father Peter drove the oldest and most dilapidated automobile in the Archdiocese.  When he started his car in the school yard, the children in the classrooms could only think of the take-off of a rocket ship for the moon.  Indifferent to clothes and personal belongings, he could well have been a modern day Francis of Assisi.  In all his mannerisms, he showed himself a Christ figure.

In May, 1982, Father Peter asked me to drive him to the hospital because of his chest pains.  After some time that day, the doctor, a personal friend of Father Peter’s, came out of the room and said to me . . . “We are going to lose Father Peter.”  I cried without shame.  His life has since influenced me to aim for the best in life.  Humility is so attractive.  May he rest in peace.

In this Holy Season of Lent, 2013, we all have the good fortune to meet another Person of simplicity and humility, a Person with a sublime knowledge of the Scriptures: Jesus of Nazareth.  He hides His Greatness to come in friendship to us, His people, not to judge but to heal and lift us to Goodness.

“God bless you”, He says to each one of us, bringing peace and joy to all.  With no blare of trumpets, the humble Christ stands at the door of our hearts, anxious to enter and enrich our lives.  His humility in willing to come down to our human level, with all His gifts of mind and heart, immediately increases His attractiveness and appeal.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

February 16, 2013 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Thank you Father! That gives me a lot to think about this Lent. I will work on humility ~ and start blessing others when we may not be in agreement. And as always in a big way I will remember you in prayer. Blessings, Beth Doyle

    Comment by Beth Doyle | February 16, 2013 | Reply

  2. we learn much from you & Fr. Peter…thank you for sharing and teaching us…with every word!
    God’s Blessings, Love & Grace, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | February 16, 2013 | Reply

  3. Hi Fr. George – so nice to read your beautiful stories – so meaningful and thought-provoking! You are always a treasure to read on your blog and I love to see your smiling face in the picture, too – it always brings a smile to my face as well. I hope that you are healthy and feeling strong – and GOD BLESS YOU this Lenten season and always. Humility is a hard virtue to have – and one that I need to work on! Stay well and happy as we are nearing the end of February – Spring is close now! With much love, Nancy

    Comment by nancy westvang | February 22, 2013 | Reply

  4. Just as Christ, father you enter the doors of our hearts and enrich our lives. Thank you!

    Comment by Anonymous | February 22, 2013 | Reply


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