Twenty-five years ago today, I was given my last diploma.
Left to right, some important men in my formative life.
The dean, Fr Sebastian Falcone, looking to the next graduate. But when I was in my first year there, convinced me to do graduate studies in my hometown instead of scooting to Notre Dame for liturgy. Or somewhere else for music.
Bishop Matthew Clark in the background a bit. He was the first bishop I got to know. I admired his thoughtful presence at liturgy: prayerful, unflappable, and most pastoral.
Father Joseph Hart at the podium. Professor three times. Thesis advisor. Friend and advocate. A superior preacher–one of the finest I’ve ever known.
The family took me out for dinner tonight. I usually don’t make a big deal of this day. In fact, until I checked my diploma, I wasn’t 100% sure I had remembered the right day. My wife apologized for not having a present., but honestly …
St Bernard’s Institute (now School of Theology and Ministry) prepared me for service. And I spent the day doing what I love: I went to Mass, prayed some lectio, talked with a few parishioners including one just back from a pilgrimage to France, wrote up a few bulletin pieces, set up a few meetings for later in the week, worked a bit in the music room, fielded some suggestions from a student on better care for the parish drum set, shared some thoughts and a few jokes with my colleagues, answered questions from a few brides-to-be, looked into another degree. It was a full day. It’s a good life.