From the archives: “My brother, the priest”

Originally posted in August 2010

From Denver comes this lovely tribute to one newly ordained man in particular — and to the Catholic priesthood in general. The author concludes:

David left a medical career and a beautiful girlfriend behind to pursue a life of a different kind of commitment. If you met my brother in a bar, you could cover such subjects as gunshot wounds, mountain biking, church history, and how to get a running start, leap off one leg and kick an 8-foot-high ceiling. He reveres women, mothers and children, and has been my protector since childhood. In David and those ordained with him (Father Mike, a skateboarder who smokes cigarettes, and Father Matt, a once frat-boy, both in their early 30s), I have seen a gentle firmness, a quiet prayerfulness, and a fierce love for families that grows out of their decision to remain childless. Oddly enough, the best priests model what fatherhood — a weakened role in so many communities today — can be.

My brother’s orthodox Jewish friend, Libby, flew in for his ordination and shared my sense of wonder at his vocation. A squat elderly woman with dark eyebrows, Libby carried around a tattered maroon briefcase and spoke with a sharp, hoarse voice.

“Have you ever heard of a mensch?” she asked. “Literally, it translates to ‘man.’ But it means any person who has decency. My father used to tell me to be a mensch. What he meant was to act always with integrity and decency. Decency. You either have it in you or you don’t. Your brother? Your brother is a mensch.”

At the post-ordination party, we did what Catholics do: We ate and drank and steeled ourselves through conversation against hours, days, years of missteps. A seminarian showed up with three kegs. The Little Caesar’s on Federal donated 10 pizzas. When my brother showed up, he had a slice of pizza, a beer, and he blessed his friend’s nine kids.

Read it all. You’ll be glad you did.

Image: St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests.  His feast day is celebrated August 4.

"I think I would have been happier had the CDF handled the nuns the way ..."

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks ..."
"Blaming "Islamics" for this is like blaming the Pope for the Holocaust Denial of Hutton ..."

One killed, 44 injured in Catholic ..."
"It smacks to me of hyper-sensitivity, a veiled spiritual and intellectual pride, with regards to ..."

Pope Francis: “A Christian who complains, ..."
"Oh, no, we never change our mind, and we always agree, even on points of ..."

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks ..."

Browse Our Archives