Reading my parish’s bulletin I discovered that a priest who use to serve in my parish had died on Sep 9th. He was born on June 30, 1921 and entered the Society of Jesus on Sep 7, 1948.
Here is something I wrote about him before on a Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
I would like to highlight one Jesuit today that I know. At my parish there use to be Jesuit by the name of Richard J. Powers who is helping out parishes in my diocese. He later moved on to help out another parish in my diocese. I came to somewhat know him while going through RCIA since he was involved in it. He is the type of priest who would get his dander up when he would see a article in the diocesan that was less than orthodox. Once when seeing an article suggesting that Satan could repent he was quite upset about it for not only its heterodox view, but that it would lead people into a theological error. He is a Jesuit who would find the term “creative orthodoxy” offensive and was not wishy-washy in any way when it comes to the faith. He is also quite a character and very fun to listen to. You always knew his opinion on a subject and it was not obscured by layers and layers on nuance that would render it incomprehensible.
I remember a story my pastor Fr. Leon told me about him when he first came to the parish that I found pretty funny. Before that time Fr. Powers had never been in a situation where he would need to go out shopping for food and that he had lived in a community where this was done for them. Fr. Leon took him to a grocery store to do some shopping and when told he could pick anything he wanted he was surprised at this novelty. The way Fr. Leon tells it is sounds like he became like a kid in a candy store. “You mean we can get this” He would repeat his amazement as they went down the aisles.
No doubt there are plenty of hidden old school Jesuits like Fr. Powers who get no attention whatsoever. Their works and joy are hidden from the world at large, but not to those who know them.
So please say a prayer for this old school Jesuit that while being a bit of a character was often known to have a smile on his face, even as he would argue a point with you.
My favourite old school Jesuit is still alive – born in 1909, entered the Society of Jesus in 1927 and is still going strong at 100! I’ll pray for yours that he will receive a rich reward for all his labours.
Was Fr. P ever in Milwaukee?