When the Lord told his disciples to go and teach all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he conferred on them the power of giving men new life in God.Reflecting on that, I found myself, as I do sometimes, praying for all of those who have been my spiritual parents along the way.
I prayed 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.
Then I prayed 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.
I thanked God for my spiritual directors, from whom I have profited so much: Fr. Charles, OFM, Sr. Joyce, FMM, Fr. Confer, OP, Mr. Zepf, Sr. Vivienne, Sr. Pat, CSA, Fr. Salvatore, OCD, Fr. Greg, OMV, Fr. Karl., and Msgr. Fay.
Then, 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.
And for my classmates in religious life, who have formed me in many ways: Phil, Hank, Brian, Mike, Ken, John, Steve, Robert, Sam, Tom, James, Arlen, Justin, Drew, Jim, Bart, Louis, and Marvin.
Finally I prayed for the teachers who have been so encouraging to me: For Professor Gould, requiescat in pace, of Yale University, from whom I first learned about spiritual realities; for Eddie, Eugene, Garrett, Lester, requiescat in pace, and John of Connecticut College; Fr. Garvey, OFM, of University College Galway; Fr. Dominic and Br. Bill of the OFM; Khaled, Sr. Meg, OSF, Cathy, Fr. John of the Sulpicians, Frs. John, Randy, Peter, Dan and Stanley, requiescat in pace, of the Society of Jesus, teachers at the former Weston Jesuit School of Theology; Stephen and Boyd of Boston College.
After praying for all of these people that the Lord has given me in order to beget me in Christ, I prayed that the Holy Spirit might make me fruitful, might make my celibacy fruitful in the Lord.