Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Benediction at St. Isidore, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I was truly taken aback last night. I thought I was attending a quiet and small Benediction service last night at St. Isidore, Grand Rapids, a parish I had never been too. I walked in to find 300 plus people packed in for the event. It was truly beautiful and holy in every way. It ended with a talk by Fr. Robert Sirico on religious freedom and received a wild ovation (clapping is ok when the liturgy is over!).

In any case, this is a very pretty parish and I was just so touched to experience such an outpouring of desire on the part of this community to practice their faith. Imagine so many people choosing to spend their Tuesday night this way! Also, it was not only an older crowd. Whole families were packed into the pews, and plenty of teens without adults too.

I want to make special mention of a wonderful priest I met afterwards. He is in residence at St. Isidore. His name is Fr. George Fekete. He serves the parish but he is retired. He is 83 years old. At the social after, he bounded over to me and said "I hear you are a musician! Praise God that you are offering your talents to the holy faith!"

I was truly startled at his energy and enthusiasm. He has these deep blue eyes that seem to be searching for content to extract from the world and process in his mind. His mind works on overdrive too, like a young teenager without hangups. He is an absolute delight to speak with because his speech pattern has these unexpected periods of bursting energy that settles down again before its bursts again -- like adulations of a song. Apparently he says morning Mass every day for this parish. I can just imagine how essential he is to this community.

As I looked at him and his happiness, and his completely unspoiled way of viewing the world, I thought: "this man is one of the best walking advertisements for the priesthood I've ever met."

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