This past weekend my wife, Chloe, and I visited Holy Redeemer Parish in Greensburg, Good Shepard Parish in Columbia, and Holy Spirit Parish in Jamestown to witness the installation of my son, Nick, as the official pastor of these parishes. The ceremonies were led by Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville.
We attended three masses and listened to the same homily three times. In addition, we ate one pot luck dinner, one pot luck breakfast, and one pot luck lunch. The Archbishop cautioned me to pace myself. The food was excellent, especially the breakfast. After three masses and three pot luck meals I am sanctified and five pounds heavier. The people themselves were very welcoming and friendly.
During the masses the Archbishop had high praise for my son and during the pot luck meals my wife and I received many compliments about our son. It was a proud moment for both of us. One lady told me that I look just like my son. I corrected her and said, “No, he looks like me. I was here first”. Another lady asked, “Do you call your son Father Nick”? She was curious since I am the father of the Father. I replied, “Sometimes, but mostly I just call him Nick because he is my son”. A few people came up to me and said, “I saw that picture of you and Father Nick at the U2 concert”.
Both of my sons have turned out to be good human beings and men. My son, Nick, however, is more like me than his brother. My other son is more like his mother. Sometimes it is interesting how life turns out. When my son was ordained a priest, my mother looked at me and said, “I always thought it would be you”. In some ways Nick is living the dreams of my youth. I suppose some dreams begin with one person and end with another. In many ways Nick has finished what I began.
In spite of my background I was surprised when Nick came to me and told me he wanted to be a priest. I honestly didn’t see it coming. Sometimes our children surprise us. One way or another most of us turn out the way life intended for us.
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