I feel blessed having the opportunity to speak with many of our retired priests living at the Villa St. Joseph in Darby. As their bodies get weaker, their faith and wisdom get stronger.
In these days of struggles (“Troubles”) within our church, I want to share two experiences from the Villa that affirmed my faith in God’s grace and the priesthood.
About six weeks ago, I spoke with a priest in his 90s. He was aware that death was near. I asked him if he was afraid to die. His answer was, “I’m not afraid to die. I just hope Jesus knows I love him and tried hard to be a good priest.”
I observed, “I’m sure he knows what a good and dedicated priest you have been.” He died two weeks ago.
Another priest, also 90-something and still with us, after being interviewed by a young seminarian, asked to speak with me. During our conversation, he said, “Joe, make sure the seminarian knows I want him to always put Christ first.”
I felt it was a privilege to be in the presence of two retired priests whose hearts were still devoted to the Lord.
May all of us, priests, seminarians, religious and laity, be inspired by their example.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: