Tomorrow is my anniversary of baptism; I will be seventeen years old. By Providence I have a liturgical day free of obligation for public Mass, so I intend to get up early and offer a Mass for those whom the Lord has given me along the way:
First, for my first priest, Fr. Larry, and for the friars and parishioners of St. Mary's in New Haven, whose reverence and piety first attracted me to prayer.
Second, for Deacon Ron, who baptized me, and for his family; for Fr. Leo Sutula, requeiscat in pace, who gave me my first Holy Communion and who also heard my first confession; for Bishop Dan Reilly, who confirmed me; for Fr. Dan, OFM, who invested me in the Franciscan habit; for Fr. Michael, OFM Cap., who received my profession of both temporary and perpetual vows; for Bishop Francis X. Irwin, who ordained me deacon; and for Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap. who ordained me priest.
Third, for my spiritual directors, from whom I have profited so much: Fr. Charles, Sr. Joyce, Fr. Confer, Mr. Zepf, Sr. Vivienne, Sr. Pat, priests of the Discalced Carmelites and Oblates of the Virgin Mary whose names I have forgotten, and Fr. Karl.
Fourth, for my formation directors: Vincent and Fr. Aubrey, Fr. Andrew and Br. Richard, Fr. Bill and Fr. Raphael, Br. John and Ken, Fr. Marty, Fr. Tom, and Fr. Jack.
Fifth, for my classmates in religious life: Phil, Hank, Brian, Mike, Ken, John, Steve, Robert, Sam, Tom, James, Arlen, Justin, Drew, Jim, Bart, Louis, and Marvin.
Sixth, for the teachers who have been so encouraging to me: Fr. Dominic and Br. Bill of the OFM, Carlos ('the real teacher'), Antonio, ('el Loco'), Khaled, Sr. Meg, Cathy, Fr. John of the Sulpicians, and Frs. John, Randy, Peter, Dan, and Stanley of the Society of Jesus.
This is going to be one long memento for the living!