Home > Life Lessons > Life Lessons from Fr. Bob

Life Lessons from Fr. Bob

With the beginning of a school year, I naturally have been thinking of all those who impacted me while I was in college. Most notably, was most likely Fr. Bob, our chaplain.

It’s probably an understatement to say my parents were “worried” about their baby going to school in a major metropolitan city. However, after meeting the priests on campus, their minds were set to rest that away from home, I would still have “Fathers.”

Even years after I graduated, Fr. Bob still recognized and spoke to my parents when they were on campus. My parents appreciated his care and concern for each member of his flock so much.

Father Bob truly proved that he was a second “Father” for me when my father passed away. Without notice to me or anyone else, he appeared at the funeral service, looking as concerned and prayer filled as ever.

I know it to be a fact that I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without his influence. After starting at CUA at the same time as me, he left this summer to go tend to flocks elsewhere. But I couldn’t have been luckier to have been a member of his flock for four years (and many after graduation).

In his final homily, Father Bob shared the wisdom in very plain terms that he taught me for four years, usually not in such obvious words, but in his gentleness and personal example. (The following is an exerpt from his final homily at CUA)

I have loved my time here at Catholic so very much. Yes, you are a very bizarre parish, a very bizarre beautiful parish, a very bizarre wonderful parish. People between the ages of 18-21 Go through so much. You come to CUA adolescents and you leave young adults. College is kind of like the microwave of life…

I know that from the very first moment of my existence I was created to be a priest. Even with all the scandals and problems our church faces I wouldn’t trade my life for an instant. Not one Instant. I want you all to know that I know I am not worthy of this call.

I’ve been praying a lot about what I should say to you. And I have narrowed them down to three simple thoughts… The First is this. I assure you. You will be a better wife a better husband a better father a better mother you will be a a better boss a better employee a better person if you allow God into your lives. Not only that, but your life will be more peace filled. and more joyful…. if you allow God into your lives.

The second is this I challenge you to have a passion for souls Not just your own soul but everyone’s soul. Have a big enough heart. Have a strong enough heart. Have a brave enough heart. Have a generous enough heart To Love people to God that’s what I mean when I say have a passion for souls.

You know Souls come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. there are cantankerous souls. And loving souls. There are souls that always live in fear or shame. There are souls which are addicted. There are poor souls and wretched souls. There are holy souls and gentle souls. And in every soul there is the image and likeness of God. Sometimes you gotta remind yourself that the image and likeness of God is in there someplace.

But don’t give up. Love them to faith. Love them to faith. In quiet and gentle and humble ways call them to more and be patient with them when they fall or miss the mark.

The Third thought is this. I have become convinced that most important thing a person can do in life is to give their heart away. That’s the greatest commandment that Jesus spoke about in the Gospel. I know I know It’s very scary to hold your heart in your hand and say here… here’s my heart. I know it is terrifying to say I love you. The dreaded “l” word. That’s what a parent must give their life to their child. Couples give their life to each other as they walk through the seasons of life. That’s what dedicated single people do when they give away their lives in loving service. That’s what priests and religious do when we try and spread their heart all over a parish, or a hospital or all over a campus.

Think of a peanut butter sandwich… you gotta try cover the whole piece of bread. I know we are all tempted to hold on to our lives and our hearts I’ve been tempted to stay here and hold to you and all that is beautiful and comfortable for me.

Lastly Holy Ones… wanna be holy ones… and even those who don’t want to be holy for now. When you sing on the stage in the Harke or outside my window at 3 in the morning. When you play on our fields… compete on our courts or swim in our pool When you actually go to class and do your work, go figure… When you make me laugh or when we share a tear When you create life giving and holy friendships and relationships I am proud of you. I am proud of you. I am proud of you. I thank God because I am so privileged to have spent this time with you.

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  1. gretchen
    September 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    i wish i could re-tweet father bob’s words. so beautiful.

  2. September 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    actually, you can! there’s a tweet button at the end of the blog 🙂

  3. kath
    September 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    mary! totally made me cry on this one – ❤ father bob!

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