One’s reason for entering religious life and studies for the priesthood differ considerably by the time of his Golden Sacerdotal Anniversary. There is now the mystery, best lived in union with Christ and the Trinity, with Mary’s assistance.
My family was definitely religious and always a tremendous and caring support. I liked studies and was impressed by the lives of my parish priests and the Jesuits, both scholastics and priests, at St. Louis University High School, but without Mary, I would not have been spiritually ready to enter the Society of Jesus.
A wise master of novices once pointed me in the right direction; and over the years I specialized in Classical Languages and was then to be in philosophy. However, with a somewhat independent spirit I just kept preparing myself for the Sacred Scriptures. Regency in Belize was great; theology, my interest, ordination, my real goal, then studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. For a quarter of my life, I taught theology at St. Louis University, then eleven years at the Biblicum, as teacher, superior, and rector, ten years as fundraising for the Jesuit Institutions of higher education in Rome and back to SLU as an adjunct professor. Challenges were there; but Christ, the Father, and Mary, too. Yes, I worked at being diligent and a caring, loving priest, a personalist. But the real achiever was God and the personal satisfaction, happiness and hundredfold I experienced, gifts.