Reflecting on my sixty years as a priest, I asked myself: where did it all begin? Why did I as a young boy of sixteen want to be a Jesuit priest?
It is what every person wants in the depths of his or her heart. I wanted my life to be meaningful, that I made a difference because I was here. I felt that following Christ and bringing others to Christ as a priest in the Society of Jesus was the best way for me to fulfill that desire. Now looking back on my 60 years as a priest, I know I made the right decision.
Little of my priesthood has been spent in parish ministry or retreat ministry. Fifty of those 60 years have been spent in the ministry of teaching. For me, the classroom was my chapel and more than 6,500 young men were my congregation. My mission was to bring them to know, love, and serve the Lord and one another. Only God knows how well I succeeded. But I know my desire to serve Him through the ministry of teaching has been fulfilled. One of the great rewards of growing old as a priest and teacher is seeing many of the boys I taught many years ago grow into fine, loving Catholic husbands and fathers. I feel I have received my “hundredfold” in this life.
The Ignatian Spirituality Program of Denver offers Ignatian group retreats, individual spiritual direction, the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and trains spiritual directors and guides of the Spiritual Exercises.