God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Help Others Succeed

Fr. Clements, giving Holy Communion, 1973 Picture via Wikipedia

Fr. Clements, giving Holy Communion, 1973
Picture via Wikipedia

One night in June, 2014, here in Chicago, I saw a documentary film entitled, “Happy”, on TV.  The film visited 15 major countries for the purpose of measuring the degree of happiness enjoyed by the people in them.  The USA, despite all our resources, ranked 6th.

Happiness comes from thinking of others and helping others succeed in life.  The documentary placed Japan in 15th place as the unhappiest country in the world.  Their motto sounds like this: work, work, work, with little given to family living.  According to this study, the people in Denmark appeared the happiest, winning the #1 position.  On the whole, its people set out each day to help their neighbor.

The story of Father George Clement, a Black Priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, tells of how one man succeeded in helping others.  Born here in Chicago of loving and caring parents, Father George knew the value of a good family life.  As Pastor of Holy Family Parish on Chicago’s South Side, he had 1,300 children in his grammar school, the largest of its kind in the USA.  In his knowledge of the desperate need for adoption of Black children, he founded the One Church – One Child Program whose sole purpose was to spread this crusade of helping African American children get adopted across our nation.  As Director, Father George spoke in many African American Churches across the United States.

Giving credibility to his program, he adopted four boys, a daring and risky action for a priest.  At much criticism from Church authorities, he guided these boys with fatherly care, encouraging them to live in Christ-like ways and funding their education through the University levels.

So, today, in August, Father Clements, now 82, a good friend of mine, deserves the thanks of thousands of boys and girls for their happiness and fulfillment in life.  By the way, Father George’s sons, now adults, have succeeded greatly in their personal lives and are spreading the message of love and care they received from their father and priest – Father George. 

If we wish to truly be happy, (as Father George is), then set out each morning with a strong desire to help others succeed, even in the smallest way.

On a personal note, I can say that the Catholic Priesthood stands as a fabulous way in helping people succeed.  For the past 70 years, on a daily basis, (except when sick), I have offered the Sacrifice of the Mass – the perfect act of atonement to God for my sins and those of the world.  I have given Holy Communion, the Body of Christ, to countless thousands, thus strengthening their love of God.  In Confession, my penitents heard me say, “Your soul is now in perfect condition”, bringing peace to their inner spirits.  If someone’s son expresses a desire to be a priest, tell him he must first be a man of prayer, or forget the dream.

Does the reader wish to be happy – then set out to help others succeed!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 2, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , ,


  1. As always, beautiful message. Thank you Fr. McKenna.

    Comment by Martha Martin Maggiore | August 2, 2014 | Reply

  2. Once again you inspire goodness, a small kind act can go a long way in someones life and to see that someone aspire to greater heights is so gratifying, the world would be a better place if all helped others to succeed. Thank you again for your words of wisdom. D. Hurley

    Comment by Anonymous | August 2, 2014 | Reply

  3. Hi Fr. George! Thank you for another wonderful message of selfless love! I can only imagine how unusual it was, even by today’s standards, that a priest would adopt children. But, it sounds like it was successful. I think that you would have been a wonderful parent – you are so loving and giving of yourself all of the time. You are a spiritual father to so many – what a gift FOR us!. There is a family at my church with two natural born children and then two children from Africa – very dark-skinned and quite a contrast to the others. They are a beautiful family and three of the four are alter-servers!

    Linda is here visiting us for a week. We will have gorgeous weather, which is so typical for us – beautiful stretches of summer/sunny weather with warm days and cool nights. Our grass is dead/brown because we don’t waste the water to keep it green, so it looks like your winter grass! Hope to have lots of fun with her. We’re going to go to the mountains and might even go across the Strait to British Columbia (Vancouver Island). It is great to have her here, its been 9 years! I found another stack of your books when I cleaned out the guest bedroom – guess I better get going on giving them out!

    It is SO wonderful to hear about your many experiences and stories. What a blessing to have you be on a blog!! Praying for you daily, Fr. George! Love you! Love, Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | August 3, 2014 | Reply

  4. PS I thought that the US ranking on happiness would have been lower. I just asked Tim where he thought the US ranked out of 15 countries and he guessed 14! With all of our material stuff (junk) here in the US, people here seem very unhappy. One only has to walk thru a ‘mega-Walmart’ to see that we have so much here, but people are grumbling and cross!

    Comment by nancywest22 | August 3, 2014 | Reply

  5. Thank you father McKenna ( Uncle George ) for being so kind this is Brenda Harris from Beggars. I’m honored to have met you and cousin Rose May God’s blessing be upon you and your family God bless you richly Uncle George is my prayer your new niece Brenda

    Comment by Anonymous | August 7, 2014 | Reply

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