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Good Shepherd Sunday

Apr 22

Written by:
4/22/2018 12:15 AM  RssIcon

On April 11, my parents celebrated their 48th Wedding Anniversary. It is such a blessing and honor to be able to acknowledge this achievement as we slowly begin to make plans for two years down the road, too. It seems like we were all just around the dinner table as kids, and now all my siblings have their own children, and one even has a grandchild, herself!

In my time in the vocation office, I quickly discovered that not everyone was as fortunate to have such a family; but it was such a blessing to me to have the strong support of my family back home; as it made my discernment towards the priesthood much easier. There was a great deal of freedom and peace that came to me from them, and I am so very grateful for their support and the solid base they left me and my five siblings.

Perhaps I mention all this because the Fourth Sunday of Easter is typically known as ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’ and is a time when the Church has looked at priestly vocations, because priests should have hearts modeled after the heart of the Good Shepherd. And it strikes me: how do you get a heart modeled after the Good Shepherd?

This is no easy question, obviously.

Certainly, we had so much formation in the seminary to achieve that ideal. (And I know I still have a long way to go to get to that ideal!) Yet, all the formation that happens in the seminary builds on the formation that happens in the home, while growing up, in the regular passing of days, as children turn into teenagers and eventually grow into adults.

Which led to a question posed to my parents at some point along the line: six children, all still relatively active in the faith, one a priest; what did you do right?

I think mom and dad looked at each other, shrugged, and admitted they had no idea! Looking back now, I can provide some answer: they loved each other, deeply. They were not afraid to show their love for each other in front of us children. They made sure we all knew we were loved. When we needed it, we were disciplined. (The debate rages: which of us was the greatest struggle to our parents, to which I will not answer!)

Most of all, I just feel that my parents were ‘normal,’ as much as any family could be. And isn’t that just the best indication: be normal, love God, and love life. And above all, let the faith be an active and joyous part of life. Doing so will help us all give the open and generous yes, as called for in the Vocation Prayer.

God Bless,

Fr. Kyle


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