Answering the Call

Two years ago today, I stopped to vis­it Father Michael in the sac­risty after he’d cel­e­brat­ed Mass for the Assump­tion. He was in quite a mel­low and hap­py mood and told me that the date of August 15, 1981 was very mem­o­rable for him. This was the date that he had flown from Cana­da to enter the Domini­can novi­tiate in Den­ver,  Col­orado. And because of the feast day, Father M felt that there was that spe­cial con­nec­tion to the Blessed Moth­er. As I lis­tened to his hap­py rem­i­nisc­ing, I saw it was obvi­ous­ly a very spe­cial mem­o­ry for Father Michael.

Last year, Father Michael was leav­ing for a trip to vis­it fam­i­ly on this date. So I didn’t see him. I remem­bered that he’d said a close friend had been upset in 1981 that he would choose to min­is­ter in the Unit­ed States rather than Cana­da. Father Michael had dual Canadian/American cit­i­zen­ship, but in his heart of hearts , he was a loy­al Cana­di­an. I’m sure that leav­ing his home­land was a dif­fi­cult part of his deci­sion. So I sent him a text thank­ing him for choos­ing to come to serve in my coun­try and for the ‘yes’ of his priest­hood. But I know for Father Michael, the true ‘draw’ of the Cen­tral Domini­can Province  was that they were tru­ly like a fam­i­ly. That was so impor­tant for him. Father Michael cher­ished his fam­i­ly in Cana­da and came to cher­ish his Domini­can fam­i­ly in the same way.

So today, I cel­e­brate what began thir­ty-three years ago on that brave flight to Den­ver. I am so grate­ful for all that Father Michael brought to us.