I was born May 6, 1929, and baptized on the 26th. That means my conception was around August 6, 1928. Our family was small: mother Irene, Dad Leo, older sister Jeanne, younger brother Jack. We belonged to Sacred Heart Parish, Rock Island, Illinois, and I was educated at the grammar school there from first through eighth grade.
|Postcard of Sacred Heart Church|
via Rock Island Preservation Society
On November 21, 1941, my father married Ethel, who had been a close friend of my mother and him. Ethel became a second mom to me. She and my father gave us a sister, Jo Ann.
After completing grammar school, I spent one year at Rock Island's St. Joseph High School before discerning a vocation to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. From age 15, onward, the remainder of my high-school years and my first two college years were at Our Lady of the Ozarks, Carthage, Missouri, an OMI minor seminary.
|Photo of St. John Lateran by Tango7174, via Wikipedia.|
Being a priest has toned my relation as brother and father and friend with our brothers and sisters of the human family and our brothers and sisters of the Catholic family of Jesus. For the priestly people, my call is to be a servant priest with the deacons, presbyters, bishops, and the bishop of Rome.
My mission as a priest so far has been as a theology teacher for twenty-five years and as a parish priest for twenty-five years. As a teacher, I served at schools of theology in Pass Christian, Mississippi; San Antonio; St. Paul; and Washington, D.C. As a parish priest, I shepherded in the dioceses of Stockholm, Sweden; Yakima, Washington; Birmingham, Alabama, and Chicago. For these last years, I have served as a chaplain for contemplative nuns and as an assistant to parishes, especially in Spanish-speaking ministry. Along the way, Paul VI named me a theological expert (peritus) at Vatican II, and the Dominican-run Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome made me a doctor of sacred theology (S.T.D.).
My special concern everywhere has been youth, children, and families. Central to my preaching and teaching are Jesus our merciful Savior, His beloved friends Mary and Joseph, and His love—the fire of his passionate offering of Himself for His Father and us His brothers and sisters through His Holy Spirit. Aging makes me more thankful for His many blessings, more sorrowful for my many sins, and more hopeful for my ongoing conversion. Please keep me in your prayers.