God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Totally Yours, O God

With my dear mother on the day of my Ordination. May 6, 1944

With my dear mother on the day of my Ordination.
May 6, 1944

Our former Pope, and now beloved Saint, John Paul II, had these two Latin words, “Totus Tuus” (Totally Yours), on his coat of arms.  As a young man, preparing for the Priesthood in an underground Seminary in war torn Poland, he knelt before Christ in the great Cathedral in Krakow and consecrated himself to the Lord of the Gospels.  From that time on, he never looked backward or watered down any of his original commitment to the Master.

On the mornings of my receiving the three Major Orders (the Sub-deaconate, the Deaconate and the Priesthood), I rose early and went to the main Chapel, in the center of the Seminary Campus at Mundelein, Il.  A space of five months elapsed between the receptions of each of these Orders, the last – Holy Orders – 71 years ago on May 6, 1944.  Each time I meditated on the appearance of the Risen Lord to His Apostles at the seashore in Galilee.  At this visit, Jesus called Peter aside and asked the knelling Apostle, three times, “Peter, do you love me?”  Peter had denied his Lord three times.  The Gentle Christ used this way of questioning to bring peace to Peter’s heart.  “Yes, Lord, You know I love You”, said Peter, each time.

On these three historic mornings, I pictured myself kneeling before the Lord, with Him asking me the same questions, three times, “George, do you love me?”  I placed my hands into His Hands and said, “Yes, Lord, I do love You!”  Down through these last 71 years in the Priesthood, I found the memory of these mediations immensely helpful and consoling.  I say to myself, I started out with a “Totus Tuus” (completely Yours) attitude in the Priesthood; with God’s help I will finish in the same way.

Only God knows how well or how poorly I have kept this initial consecration up to the present time!  In His public life, Jesus said to a number of people, “Come, follow Me.”  Many gave excuses for not following immediately: “Lord, let me bury my father”, “Allow me to go home and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus was not happy with these responses.  “No one putting his hand to the plow and looking backwards is fit to be my disciple.”

Our teachers in the Seminary told us that a total commitment to God makes the work of serving Him that much easier.  In times of temptations of all sorts, we will answer quickly, without hesitation, “I will serve only the Lord, my God.”  If I am only half committed, I could dilly-dally with my response and end up compromising my ideals.

Each day, kneel in spirit or actually before the Lord and tell Him that you are a “Totus Tuus” disciple of His, with no other desire in your heart than to serve Him faithfully until death.  The attractions of the world lose their strong appeal in the face of such dedication to God.  An immense joy will fill your heart.

Fr. George McKenna

May 2, 2015 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,


  1. Father, your love for Christ comes through in these short weekly messages you share with us. Thank you for your ministry. God Bless you this week as you celebrate your 71st Anniversary! GT

    Comment by Anonymous | May 2, 2015 | Reply

  2. Father thank you for giving us direction to Our Lord. Your words continue to be an inspiration to us.Congratulations on your upcoming 71st anniversary. Jim R freshman class of 1963.

    Comment by Jim | May 2, 2015 | Reply

  3. Good Morning Fr. McKenna, Thank you.thank you, thank you for this inspiring message. I, too, want to say “Totus Tuus” to our Lord with a contrite and serious heart, desiring to follow our Lord as best I can with His help, O Lord I pray. God Is Truly Good! He will help us to become what He wants us to be. Love, Dorothy Burkard nickndorburk@aol.com

    Comment by nickndorburk@aol.com | May 2, 2015 | Reply

  4. Thank you Fr. McKenna for your dedication to the priesthood. Happy 71st Anniversary and God bless you. Pam

    Comment by Pam Gervais | May 2, 2015 | Reply

  5. Thank you Fr Mckenna

    Comment by Joe Harrington | May 3, 2015 | Reply

  6. God bless and keep you dear Father Mckenna!! Thanks for all you do, Ellen

    Comment by Ellen Hodges | May 3, 2015 | Reply

  7. Hi Fr. George! I’m so happy to be able to wish you a happy 71st anniversary of your Priesthood! it is amazing, isn’t it? You’ve been a priest longer than many people have lived! God has blessed us greatly by letting your ministry continue for so long! I hope that you are feeling good these days and enjoying some of the nice spring weather that has finally arrived there!

    I have a wonderful memory of my mom – in the hospital the last few weeks of her life – and I said to her, ‘Mom, Jesus loves you’ and she said, “And I love Him.” It brought tears to our eyes. She always loved her Lord. It makes me happy to think of that moment.

    I’m praying for you daily and will write you a letter soon! I love you, Fr. George!


    Comment by Nancy Kolember Westvang | May 3, 2015 | Reply

  8. Congratulations Father on your 71 years!! My goodness, God has blessed us with your priesthood!!

    Comment by Beth Doyle | May 3, 2015 | Reply

  9. Happy 71st Anniversery Fr McKenna Truely a good Shepard and servant for Christ our Lord! Paul Krueger. ( Quigley Sem ’58/’59.

    Comment by Paul Krueger | May 3, 2015 | Reply

  10. Dear Fr. George…May 6, 2015… a very special date…your 71st ordination anniversary!!!
    Your devoted life of faith, serving the flock of the Chief Shepherd all these years, has made an eternal difference for every person you have met…can you just imagine the thousands of souls touched by your words, Masses, all the sacraments received through the gift of your priesthood! Your Holy Orders has changed the world and brought His Love & Mercy to us…I am grateful to God for the blessing of “flying through” MDW on the very day of your 60th anniversary! His Flight Plan, of course! Blessings & Gratitude Forever, marianne

    Comment by mcs | May 6, 2015 | Reply

  11. Happy Anniversary Uncle George. What a blessing you are to our family, and all those you have touched over the years. You are my inspiration! All my love and prayers, Joe.

    Comment by Joe Tucker | May 6, 2015 | Reply

  12. Father George The happiest of anniversaries to you! You had a huge impression on me during my days at Quigley South (1961-65) even if you didn’t remember me when I visited you. I hope to get back to you soon. Bill Laude

    Comment by William F. Laude | May 6, 2015 | Reply

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