When I was a junior in high school at Chaplain Kapaun Memorial in Wichita, Kansas, I took a “preference test” to indicate interests and a possible future career path. The result came back as an interest in social work and music. (I was surprised about the music part because I had wasted my parents’ good money on accordion lessons.) I concluded that I would be working for the Salvation Army ringing a bell outside a shopping center somewhere.
But by God’s grace I joined the Jesuits and have received so many blessings that I cannot count them. I have been given the wonderful gift of being a companion to some of the finest and holiest men in the world, to be privileged to serve in schools and parishes and retreat houses where I experienced the goodness and love of God lived out in lives of faith and dedication and love. (Words to John Foley’s song come to mind: “You give marvelous comrades to me, the faithful who dwell in your land…”)
It is through God’s mercy and grace that I celebrate this jubilee, and I give deep thanks for my life as a Jesuit – and for all the many wonderful and loving people who have graced my life all these years.