Fr. Luke Reese, Parochial Vicar of Holy Rosary Church in Indianapolis, dragged his wife through a violent, 18-hour ordeal in October, beating, choking and slapping her, throwing her against walls, kidnapping and sexually assaulting her, according to court records. The assaults reportedly occurred in his car, en route to her grandmother’s house, and in their home.
He also forced his wife to come inside Holy Rosary Church, and he assaulted her before the altar, his wife told police.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed in court: Still wearing clerical garb, Fr. Reese made his wife to kneel before the altar, hitting her in the face, pulling her hair, and putting his hands around her neck, and threatening to choke her as he demanded the password to her cell phone. He then threw her into a wall in the church before forcing her out of the building and back into his car. He then continued to physically and sexually assault her for another several hours.
Fr. Reese has been charged with several crimes, including criminal confinement with bodily injury, criminal confinement where a vehicle is used, kidnapping, domestic battery, battery resulting in bodily injury, and intimidation. He has been released on bond, and his trial is scheduled for May.
According to local paper The Indy Star,
the ordinariate said Reese has been barred from performing any public ministry since he was placed on leave.
“Bishop Steven J. Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter has pledged the diocese’s full cooperation with the civil authorities conducting the investigation,” the statement reads. “The Ordinariate is committed to collaborating with authorities to ensure justice is provided for all concerned, and affirms the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that domestic violence is never justified.”
Reese faces jail time. But his alleged crimes leave an aftermath that is not merely a legal matter, but a spiritual and canonical one.
Fr. Reese allegedly beat, threatened, and degraded his wife while forcing her to kneel before the consecrated altar. He is a priest who offers the holy sacrifice of the Mass at that altar. Do Reese’s alleged actions inside Holy Rosary constitute desecration? Does the church need to be reconsecrated?
Canonist and author Peter Vere said in an interview Tuesday:
“Given the alleged facts that have emerged … I am not certain how one could avoid concluding that a serious violation of the church’s sacred character had taken place.”
Vere said, “Certainly the act is grave, especially coming from an ordained priest. It was perpetuated at least in part in a sacred space. And it gives rise to scandal among both Catholics and non-Catholics.”
According to Canon 1211, the local Ordinary is the one who decides whether a serious enough violation has occurred. If he judges the acts are grave, injurious, and scandalous enough to qualify as a violation of a sacred place, the church will need to be reconsecrated.
The local Ordinary, says Vere, could be the pope, the diocesan bishop, the Vicar General, or an episcopal vicar.
On what basis does the Ordinary make his judgment? The Navarre commentary on Canon 1211 says that there are three conditions which constitute a violation of sacred space. It says:
These conditions — necessary, but not sufficient — are: 1) the act is grave and injurious; 2) it gives rise to scandal; and 3) it was perpetrated in the sacred space. In order to ascertain whether an act fulfilling these conditions gives rise to the violation of a sacred place, one must refer to the judgment of the local Ordinary, unless he himself has previously enumerated the facts that constitute a violation . . . today, the sensitivity of the faithful to the scandal that has been produced should be considered as a criterion for assessing the scope of the facts.
Before a church is reconsecrated, there must be reparation for the desecration.
According to Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, “no sacred rite may be celebrated in the church” until reparation for the desecration has been carried out.
“Preaching to prepare for the penitential rite may be carried out. The people are encouraged to avail themselves of the sacrament of reconciliation, which should be celebrated in another church. To symbolize penance, the Ceremonial recommends: “The altar of the church should be stripped bare and all customary signs of joy and gladness should be put away, for example, lights flowers, and other such articles.”
Fr. McNamara says that “the Mass of reparation is the preferred mode,” and that “it is fitting that the bishop presides at the rite of reparation.” Here is a more detailed description of that rite.
Vere says it’s common for Church authorities to wait until civil authorities have completed their work. Vere said:
“Before any action is undertaken, the local Ordinary would first need to establish what happened. Right now the priest has been charged but his case has not yet gone to court. It is not unusual in Canada or the United States for Catholic ecclesiastical authorities to hold off canonical action until criminal charges by civil authorities are resolved.”
Vere said it would be unusual for reconciliation and reconsecration to take place without the inclusion of the congregation, “because liturgy is the Church’s public prayer and thus generally open to participation by the faithful,” and because the story is now public, and thus “many of the faithful have been affected.”
“Pastorally, these are the people the Church will want to reconcile by the liturgical action prescribed,” said Vere.
Fr. Ryan McCarthy, pastor of Holy Rosary Church, warned his congregation in an October 1 bulletin announcement:
Please do not ask me the details of Father Reese’s situation … If you do ask, I will politely but firmly tell you to “mind your own business.”
The current bulletin, dated February 25, makes no mention of the Fr. Reese scandal. Reese is still designated as Parochial Vicar on the front page, and his name was only removed from the parish website after our story broke. On page four is a message from Pastor McCarthy regarding the blessing of same-sex unions. McCarthy says:
All of us as human beings, whatever our strengths or weaknesses, have a right to be treated with the respect that our God-given dignity demands. We also have a right to hear the truth, whether it pleases us or not — even if it unhappily seems to complicate the unity of the Church herself.
Greg Otolski, communications director for the archdiocese, has returned none of our numerous calls, emails, and text messages. We have also received no response from the Ordinariate despite numerous requests.
Image: Holy Rosary Church interior, photo by Joe Grabowski.
31 thoughts on “Will Holy Rosary be reconsecrated after desecration by Fr. Luke Reese?”
Has it occurred to anyone that
being called to believe in Jesus Christ is “supernatural” for
every single believer? The standard that Scripture gives
ALL believers can only be
fulfilled Supernaturally by the
power of the Holy Spirit being
given total sway in every believer. Scripture exhorts
every believer to walk in newness of life, which is a
totally Supernatural way of life.
Highest and best here would be
for repentance of any responsible parties, and forgiveness by the offended; and there should be no gossip
about this serious tragedy.
Be in prayer that this high
calling- repentance, forgiveness and forsaking such
sin – occurs. Instead of discussing on a forum like this,
stay quiet and PRAY for a holy
resolution to this, and for spiritual, emotional, and physical healing- Supernatural
healing that characterizes the
Kingdom of God, to occur, that
the peace of Christ will reign
One question which has not been asked is, what kind of support could the Church have given this family, which might have prevented this tragedy? I remember being the stressed out wife of 8 childten 12 and under, and then pregnant with the ninth, with a husband who usually worked 80 or 90 hours a week. The stress for both in such a situation is overwhelming. I’ll just say, I can identify with this story. Could the people in the church have offered regular babysitting, so they could have a night out together regularly? So she could, maybe, take a class? Was it possible for them to access counseling through their insurance and keep it private? Was there time for family activities? At one point these two loved each other. They had hopes for their family and their children. Something brought them to the point of this horror. Yes, the devil goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and he caught both of them. But is there anything the community can do to guard against that lion?
Anna Lisa — there is absolutely *no* degree of “not-innocent” which makes beating someone ok, so there is absolutely no level of “innocent” his wife would need to uphold to be safe from violence. She deserves to be safe. You write as if she is not in the “innocent” camp. He is wrong to have ever even threaten violence much less raised a hand to her. Abuse is never justified or understandable. Never. It is horrible, uncharitable, and dangerous for you to suggest otherwise.
Holy shiznit–re-read what I wrote–here, I’ll do it for you:
” Nobody deserves a beating for any kind of sin or crime, but she (the other wife), and ALL of those children have been emotionally battered in the worst way, and they are–
–As in we know for a fact that they are innocent. Sheesh.
And if in the trial it turns out that she was engaging in the whole nine yards, SHE IN NO WAY DESERVED A BEATING. She didn’t deserve any of what was done to her, period. How you read it that way is beyond me.
Anna Lisa – normally I really love your comments so I don’t like to be so negative now, but… I think you’ve really dropped the ball here. Yes, adultery is terrible and if Mrs. Reese was indeed having an affair then that was of course very wrong of her, and devastating for the other party’s wife and children, but to come down so hard on this aspect of the case (while being unduly lenient on her husband by expressing sympathy about a possible psychotic break that will (deservedly) ruin his reputation) is throwing the baby out with the bath water and, while I’m sure this was not your intent, comes across as victim blaming, however much you insist that she did not deserve the abuse.
I’m sorry that you experienced someone trying to encroach on your own marriage, that must have been a horrible experience, but (and I’m sorry if this sounds patronising) I think you are letting that cloud your judgement here. I wholeheartedly agree that we should support marriage and condemn adultery, but… maybe a case where a woman has been beaten, raped and humiliated for allegedly having an affair isn’t the best context.
To me the priesthood is a sacred identity. The Mass is the representation of the sacrifice of Christ to the Father on behalf of us sinners. The priesthood is about Jesus Christ, reflecting him not the individual self.
I don’t want see Fr.’s beautiful Filipino Latina “comfort” source. It’s gross! and it in no way reflects the life of Christ. Priests lament all the time that their identity has been turned into a perfunctory dispenser of Sacraments.
PS, my comment was for my conversation with Anna and the details she shared in her answer. In no way did I mean disrespect to the people in her answer. I personally am scandalized by any priest having a wife because Christ did not have a wife. I feel especially bad for the wives of priests because to me they are reduced to being outlets. That was the point of saying “sources of comfort” gross me out not the particular woman.
All kinds of ideas can be normalized by creating a narrative that employs key words and emotional triggers. But the problem with ideas, separated from realities and real life situations is that they can become stunted. When good Pope John threw open the doors of his window, and declared “let the fresh air come in!” I think he was fighting this very thing–truncated grace, being held hostage to fear and a warped perception of tradition. I’m not calling your general thoughts warped, (the celibacy of some priests is nothing short of glorious!)–but I do take umbrage over the comment on the marriage of those two fine people. They inspire me to be better. She is no more an outlet they I am, and my husband worked a 14 hour day yesterday. I’m tempted to put Deacon Chris’ vocation on a higher pedestal than my husband’s (I called him a Silicon Valley serf yesterday) , but that’s not true either–both are giving to the very last drop in the service of others. (Which reminds me of that Mother Teresa quote about great things vs. great love!)
Is there a problem trying to say that Deacon Chris acts in persona Christi?–None whatsoever–it is not the slightest stretch–he reminds me of Jesus more than 90% of the priests I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a lot of good priests. –Which touches painfully upon the subject of this entire conversation–What Fr. Reese did was the very farthest thing from Jesus. I guess we all have it in us to be anti-Christs. God help us. Those of us who are more inclined to anger should humble ourselves, knowing that our sin is a product of pride, which is a far greater menace than the sins of the flesh.
One ought to make reparation and atonement.
One suggestion: it is confusing to suggest that the church needs to be “reconsecrated” because the rite of dedication of a church used to be called the rite of consecration of a church. Thus, by saying “reconsecration,” the article implies that the violent act would cause the church building to lose its sacred character. That’s not what’s going on here. Even though liturgical worship is suspended until reparation is made, the desecrated church remains a sacred space and does not need to go through the rite of dedication again after sufficient reparation is made. Strictly speaking, reconsecration (i.e. rededication) would only need to take place if the church has been “in great measure destroyed” or “made over to secular usage” (canon 1212).
I have never considered in what circumstances a church needs to be reconsecrated, and I’m glad I don’t have to make that kind of decision. What a sad situation.
After the initial shock of this whole sad and sordid story starts to wear off, how can we not ask ourselves an endless succession of questions about what it all means? Of course everyone is a victim in the story, but most of all it is the children, and not just the Reese’s 7 children, but the children of the other husband and father, who fostered an inappropriate relationship with Mrs. Reese –what about his *wife*? Imagine how she feels. She is the victim hardly anyone notices here. Nobody deserves a beating for any kind of sin or crime, but she (the other wife), and ALL of those children have been emotionally battered in the worst way, and they are–
I can’t even imagine having a secret pass code on my phone that my husband isn’t privy to. That. is. a red. flag. for *any* unsuspecting spouse. Every single one of my eight children knows the pass codes to all of our phones and computers. My eight. year. old. has the codes and passwords! I’m sorry Mrs. Reese was assaulted in so many horrendous ways, and while trying to withhold the code, but if it doesn’t come to light that her male friend was extending help to find a legitimate path out of an abusive marriage, I feel less and less sorry for her. She owes a lot of innocent victims an apology, and along with her male friend is the nexus of a lot of horror and destruction. I hope she can do this with sincerity so they can forgive her. It sounds like her (husband) experienced a psychotic break. How horrible. He won’t be able to recover from being the priest that experienced the violent, psychotic break. He’s cooked.
A marriage that isn’t completely transparent is a ridiculous farce–and that’s the heart of where the desecration took place. That is the bad taste that will linger in every innocent heart that was forced to believe in the lie of their marriage. How do you repair *that* in the souls of every family in that parish? May God help them to heal and forgive. The scars will linger.
And yeah–we as Catholics need to talk a LOT more about what real marriages look like and STOP acting like caricatures are just fine because they are Catholicy. No. They are not fine.
There are a lot of stuffed-shirt-talking-heads that haunt publications like the NCregister that quibble on endlessly about saving “Traditional Catholic Marriage” and they are the ones who need a (proverbial) kick in the pants, for making people think it’s more honorable to stay in abusive situations for the sake of appearances. F*#k appearances. It’s so much *pride*.
I agree, there are a lot of very wounded people here. I frankly doubt that this was a one-time incident of abuse though. It takes a lot of time and self-desensitization to get to the point that you can torture somebody for 18 hours. If she was indeed having an affair, my guess would be that she was driven to it. If she wasn’t, but kept her password secret anyway, my guess would be that she was driven to that as well, by previous paranoid/ psychotic behavior from him.
I’m a member of the Ordinariate. This story humbles me. We in the Ordinariate are prone to pridefulness, as if bring all converts and having a prettier liturgy makes us a better kind of Catholic. It’s not true. We are not immune from wickedness.
I think there should be much more careful vetting process before men are accepted into our priesthood. I’m very glad that the general order is for the regular celibate priesthood to take the place of the “founding priests” as they age. I don’t believe married men should be priests except in very limited and special circumstances.
“I frankly doubt that this was a one-time incident of abuse though. It takes a lot of time and self-desensitization to get to the point that you can torture somebody for 18 hours.”
In my initial shock I thought the same, I still think that’s a distinct possibility, and that he needs the book thrown at him –but in all honesty, I have to acknowledge the possibility that a psychotic break can make a person act out in a way that is completely uncharacteristic. Perhaps the normalization of abuse was a part of his childhood and something he repressed for years. We don’t know. There are so many possibilities.
My husband and I decided years and years ago after our first few children that we would stop most forms of corporal punishment because we stopped believing in it as being effective, no matter how “gentle” –but also because it also gave my husband flashbacks of his own abuse when he was beaten by his parents. It is a wound that never heals, even when there is forgiveness.
I once wrote in the comments here that a woman from my Church offended my husband, children and I in a predatory manner. To this day, I can’t believe how bold she was. She watched us baptize one of our infants in front of the whole congregation. A new mother is so tired and vulnerable, and she behaved like a hawk. When trying to see all sides of the Reese family story, (it would be so easy just to just throw the man away and toss the key) — I remembered my reaction to what happened when I had to wear a somewhat similar shoe. I’ve never been the least bit violent my entire life, and I don’t suffer from the burden of having too much testosterone, but for WEEKS–I wanted to drive to her house, ring the doorbell and slap her across the face. I wanted to hurt her. I wanted to sit her husband down and tell him all the filthy things she had said and suggested. I was infuriated in a way that I’m sure I’ve never felt before. I talked to a priest (ranted), and excoriated my husband for being so easy on her. I would think about her sweet freckle-faced daughter who was my son’s friend in fifth grade (he would get so excited at seeing them at mass…) I mulled over all the things she’d told my husband about her spouse not loving her and not having the time of day for them. Praying my rage away, and asking God for the grace ( that I didn’t feel!) was all I could do. In the end, I decided to leave her life in peace. I sent her a message asking her to apologize, –which she did. She told me she went to confession. She was afraid, and rightly so ( I probably sounded a bit unhinged). I had her husband’s email address or I could contact him through LinkedIn. I knew where they lived.
The priest I spoke to was unfortunately pretty familiar with stories like mine and worse. He told me that people behave in ways that are extremely volatile and contrary to what is normal. He warned me about “outing” her behavior. He was dead serious.
That said–and the fact that there are way too many holes in the Reese family story to really know the truth–I’m going to pray for these families without judgement over who is the most to blame in this situation. The devil is like a lion roaming for vulnerable prey. He must be very pleased with his handiwork.
The thing is, he is a Catholic priest! The story would have never made the news if he was just another guy.
We live in a time where “married priests” are being touted as the “solution” to the vocations crisis.
Yes, like the pedophile crisis, when a priest falls it is cause for much more scandal and disillusionment, but perhaps we need to grow up a bit. I don’t know. Isn’t that mentality a form of clericalism? We put some men on pedestals as if fathers of families are somehow less important?
I don’t have a problem with married priests, but perhaps the emphasis should be on married deacons who have served faithfully for years and whose children are grown and have moved on. I’ve known a couple of deacons like that (and their wives), and I believe that they would make excellent priests. They are stellar human beings, full of wisdom, humility and common sense.
Well, the Church realizes that the priesthood is a supernatural and exclusive calling. I do not think Christ calls men to priesthood and marriage.
A married clergy is a concession to the weakness of men. It’s also contradictory. We know the priesthood is a higher calling, that forever changes the ordained man and calls him to sacrifice himself exclusively for the sake of his spouse the Church. Can a man have two spouses at the same time?
To me it reduces the wife to being a means of sexual relief and comfort. She is not his equal, they are ontologically different. Not to mention that the Church still maintains that married men who are admitted to Holy Orders are to live in perfect continence with their wives. This is routinely ignored and it highlights yet another contradiction. You don’t get married to live in continence.
On a practical note, think of all the daily needs and struggles of marriages and families. People have said “better vetting processes for married priests are needed”. Do we vet the wife and children too? It’s a bridge to chaos.
Priests are set apart for the sake of our salvation. I pray the Church doesn’t give on this.
“I do not think Christ calls men to priesthood and marriage.”
So, all those Eastern Rite priests who are also married aren’t legitimately called? How about all those priests who were married prior to the imposition of mandatory celibacy in the Latin West? How about St. Peter? (Let’s leave aside the claims that St. Peter just up and abandoned his wife–an assertion for which there is no actual historical evidence.)
Part of the issue here is the Latin Rite’s belief that it is the supreme instantiation of what it means to be Catholic. But, of course, priestly celibacy is a disciplinary matter that springs from a set of particular historical circumstances that have been spiritualized in ways that are both healthy and unhealthy. Your comment betrays this Latin-centric mindset that forgets that married Eastern Rite priests are just as much married to their Spouse, Holy Mother Church, as Latin priests are. And the vast majority of these Eastern priests are holy, pious, and dedicated servants of Christ’s altar.
I believe that sacerdotal celibacy is a good. It bespeaks a single-minded devotion to the Work of God and a spirit of sacrifice. But we also forget the ways in which marriage is a sacrifice and a type of martyrdom, as well. (Hence the crowning ceremony in Eastern marriage ceremonies–it is a crown of martyrdom.) The death to self that marriage and family require can also play an important role in forming a priest to serve his flock well.
To extrapolate from an extreme example such as this one and to use it as a basis to claim that no good can come from the relaxation of clerical celibacy is to ignore the vast and historical body of evidence from the Eastern Rites that proves otherwise.
It may perhaps be imprudent to relax this discipline in the Latin West, given that it has been in force for nearly a millennium (and in general practice before then). But that has as much, if not more, to do with cultural factors rather than high-flown theological rationales. Call it what it is, but don’t try to exclude the holy lives and witness of our Eastern Rite brethren simply because you have Latin-Rite hangups about the question of priestly celibacy.
Several years later, just reading this for the first
time; Amen to your
opinion Corey. The apostle Peter did have a wife. And Jesus Christ did not tell him it was a sin. Why do people ever think a married priest is not the norm??
A sister in Christ
The trial happened over the last 2 days. I was there. Mrs Reese stated that there has NEVER been abuse of any kind in their marriage before this incident. She was questioned, cross examined and then requestioned and recross examined. Each time she insisted under oath that nothing even close t this response had ever happened before. I went in pro Mrs Reese. After her own testimony, Simcha you must obtain the transcripts and READ them then correct your version and the way you have framed your articles. What actually happened was more shocking, but the other way around from what we were all thinking. I am ashamed of myself for siding the way I did initially as most people here continue to do, without hearing the facts from her own mouth when she understood she was under oath and could be charged if she lied. This whole situation is a travesty.
This is getting fair afield of the main point, but I don’t see not knowing the code to your spouse’s phone as a red flag in and of itself. I’m pretty sure I know his passcode, but it’s not something I work to keep in my memory because it’s not my device and I don’t use it all that often. If he needed to change his code for some reason and forgot to tell me, I wouldn’t be upset about it. Obviously if I asked him for it and he refused to tell me that would be a much bigger issue.
I don’t want to get into a bigger conversation about this tragic case — I’m just posting with my perspective in case reading about the need for spouses to share phone passed has caused anyone undue worry about the state of their marriage. 🙂
“His” in the second sentence refers to my husband, of course.
There are all kinds of reasons why a spouse should be able to unlock a phone. The whole point has zero to do with snooping or a need to spy, but the simple, clear, beauty of transparency. Parents or spouses that rifle through the papers or devices of mature children or spouses should ask themselves what they are trying to accomplish. I am not advocating that one iota.
“not just the Reese’s 7 children, but the children of the other husband and father, who fostered an inappropriate relationship with Mrs. Reese –what about his *wife*? Imagine how she feels. She is the victim hardly anyone notices here”
This. That’s why I didn’t read the bulletin announcement as an attempt to protect an abuser, but as a reminder that gossip will not serve any of the victims of the whole situation.
You are exactly right, Anna. People in the parish, pastor, and civil authorities were all quietly advocating for justice to be done. Why is there an assumption that the pastor wanted to thwart justice? His job is the care of every individual in this case! Was the other family or children even considered in the nature of this reporting?
The affair wasn’t why this made news. What the priest husband did to his wife is why this story is known. The people who published the story are not at fault here.
There is no reply box for your statement supporting clerical celibacy. I support it too, and admire that beautiful gift to the world, but I do think there is the possibility of married clergy under certain circumstances. The historical record is convoluted almost to a dizzying degree, but mandatory celibacy simply can’t be defended as “traditional”. It would depend on what century you are examining. St. Paul believed the second coming was at hand. Several centuries later, some theologians were tainted by the belief that sexual intercourse transmitted original sin. That is clearly heretical.
The Wikipedia page on priestly celibacy is surprisingly thorough.
I struggle with this issue in general. When is protection enabling? When is secrecy damaging? Had he not been so vicious, there might have been some room for healing and actually repairing what was wrong with the relationship. Being in the public eye would make it that much more difficult. Given the nature of his position, I don’t think there was any chance whatsoever of keeping this story under wraps. Secrecy sometimes makes things worse, and hurts innocent victims even more. How many children have felt doubly betrayed by being the last person to know what happened to their family? Lying to them won’t help them to make sense of all of the pain, and despair they have been subjected to already. Children are very intuitive. They form their opinions of marriage by how their parents treated each other. At least in cases like these the child’s pain can be validated and worked through to make sense of what they experienced. Selfishness and ego are “anti marriage”–This must be exposed very emphatically in an age appropriate manner to counteract the toxic blueprint for “marriage” that the child received.
In which circumstances would a married clergy not be a contradiction of vocations though? The priest cannot commit himself fully to fulfilling either one and God doesn’t call a person to be divided in their vocation.
In recent Church history, every time the Church introduces a departure from previous practice with the clause “under certain circumstances” (i.e. permanent deacons, communion in the hand, communion for the divorced and remarried without an annulment) it catches fire and becomes the norm everywhere.
That’s what I’m essentially trying to get at here.
I have in my mind’s eye, a very faithful servant of God, Deacon Chris, who used to be Fr. John’s right hand man at the UCSB Newman center. He and Fr. John would pack them in,
–standing room only! My kids just loved the youthful energy of St. Mark’s. Deacon Chris had enjoyed a long and successful career in the business world, raised some sons and then became an empty nest-er. He was the kind of man who converted PHDs from the Physics department, and gangly teens who were suffeing from identity crisis. He didn’t bat an eye over the altar server with the blue Mohawk. His wife is a gorgeous Mexican-Filipina who is always smiling. She laughs when she calls herself a Church widow because she is supporting her husband in such an important apostolate. When Fr. John, who is the only priest at St. Marks (and is the spiritual adviser to a bunch of young Franciscans) does his military service as an Air Force chaplain, Deacon Chris did all kinds of things to fill in. When my Dad was dying, I would find Deacon Chris sipping iced tea, and telling my Dad funny stories at the dining room table. He came often, finally burying my father and then visiting my mother when she was grieving. He is the kind of saint that I love, because he always has this mischievous twinkle in his eye. He knew college students like none other, and we’d laugh about their habits and manias. He would engage each one of my sons and daughters, who always laughed when he teased them. He gave brilliant sermons too.
Haha–last thing I heard is that Bishop Barron kind of stole him from Fr. John. I heard it happened over golf. But if I’m correct, I think Chris is still helping out at St. Marks AND acting as sect’y to Bishop Barron.
I have no problem thinking that the man should be a priest–he has such a priestly soul already. That he has such a lovely wife to give *him* support so he can keep on giving so abundantly doesn’t seem like a contradiction in the least. (I also tried my best, including using guilt, to try to make him drink with us at the reception after my Dad’s funeral, but he wouldn’t touch a drop.)