Today as part of the Love Project, I wanted to reprise an article I wrote several years ago upon the death of another great priest, whose humble service made an indelible mark upon my life. I miss you, Father Roger.
Memorial Day Weekend is a family holiday at the Saxton House. Four years ago this weekend, Chris and Sarah were welcomed into our family through adoption . . . and into God’s family, through baptism.
We always try to spend as much time as possible together, enjoying each other, on these weekends. And yet this weekend, I confess there is a bit of a pall over our festivities. Yesterday a dear friend of ours passed away — Father Roger Prokop. I wrote a little about him at Mommy Monsters.
Today’s Gospel, then, speaks very clearly to me today, from John 16:
“For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
I wonder how the apostles felt when Jesus said this to them. Did they know just how little time Jesus had left? Did they contemplate what life would be like without Him? Did they suspect, even momentarily, that they would experience such profound spiritual intimacy with the Eternal One? Or did they simply get caught up in their dread and grief?
It’s been four years now since the Saxton Family became the Saxton Family. It’s been longer than that since Father Roger and I saw each other with any kind of regularity — we joined a parish close to our new home shortly after the kids arrived. And yet, I miss him. I know that, even now, he continues to pray for us — even as we pray for him.
Other priests — good men, all of them — have become a part of our lives. But Father Roger will always hold a special place in my heart. His life was to me a living reminder of the God who loves His children, no matter how far away they move. Rest in peace, dear friend.
Today’s Love in Action: Today please remember all those faithful men of God who have gone to their eternal reward. Thank God for how their spiritual fatherhood affected your life.