Canada 150 and Gratitude
Like many Canadians I am incredibly fortunate. Some of the gifts I’m grateful for include that Canada is one of the most diverse democratic countries in the world. I was born into a poor Catholic family in Toronto, the month after two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan.
Growing up in St. Dunstan’s Parish, our Pastor Father Toomey was a simple kind man who had a reputation for holiness.
The world has changed considerably since the fifties, and me along with it. Probably the biggest change is discovering why God made me. I’ve often asked myself: “what is the purpose of my life?” Oh I remember the Baltimore Catechism answer: “God made you to love and serve Him, and be happy with Him in heaven.”
Ya, right, but there have to be some particulars as to how. Discerning my vocation has taken half a century.
The forty day retreat in Guelph in 1993 was the most important spiritual event in my life. I have accepted God’s gifts of discernment, prophecy, and counselling. I have witnessed to families pain and confusion.
Through good times and bad, God has sent companions on my journey. One of the most helpful was Father John Veltri s.j. He was both a father and a brother to me. He enfleshed the living gospel, not piety, not phoney, but an example of faithfulness in difficulties. Some of us laughed at the irony that he was buried on Halloween.
Thank you Canada. Thank you early Jesuit martyrs who planted the faith here. Thank you to all those who have helped me understand that Jesus didn’t promise us happiness, but he promised us peace. Shalom.