One afternoon almost 47 years ago, Father Thomas called me into his office at the seminary to tell me my father had died earlier that day. I remember with fondness his gentle hesitation, his respect for my silent response. The task that fell to him that day would bind us together as the years went by, until his own death several years later. No, not just until — even beyond his death. Life has taught me that death does not put the final limit on relationships or on what we can learn from them; I say that because I know my father better now than I did the day he died.
Editor’s note: This is the text of the homily Archbishop J. Peter Sartain preached at the Prayer of Repentance and Healing service held October 4, 2018, at St. James Cathedral.
At some point in my grammar school career, I studied the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Pyramids of Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Statue of Jupiter at Athens, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus at Rhodes, and the Lighthouse at Alexandria in Egypt.
Love uses permanent ink
Among the things forbidden in our house as I was growing up — vulgar, racist, or blasphemous words — was the word stupid. To be honest, at first it struck me as odd that we were not allowed to use that word, because it seemed fairly benign as words go. I gradually came to realize that it was off-limits because it is a cheap word too easily thrown around to offend or belittle.