“We cannot do all that is good, only that which you can do.” SAINT THÉODORE GUÉRIN (the words adhered to the wall in my office at Saint Louis de Montfort Church in Fishers, IN)
I was rejuvenated when I met Saint Theodore Guerin in 2010. My faith journey expanded (in Latin: expandere ‘to spread out,’ + pandere ‘to spread’) ten fold. During the time I was studying for my Masters degree in Pastoral Theology at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (located near Terra Haute in southern Indiana), I heard God’s voice and I reckoned that where I was standing was holy and sacred ground. It was the ground where the only Saint from Indiana once stood! I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was sitting on a bench by the Grotto, the wind took me by force, but it was a force that I welcomed. The wind wrapped around me like a blanket of love! This place was undeniably epic. SAINT THÉODORE GUÉRIN established the Sisters of Providence right where I was sitting and the oldest Catholic University in the USA, St Mary of-the-Woods was the first fruit of her labor!
The words of Saint Theodore “lean with all your weight on providence” resonated deep within me. I was never more certain then at that moment that God’s plans for me were built on a solid a foundation and I was being called to carry that notion with me!
When I arrived on campus I was in ill health. I kneeled at the temporary shrine of Mother Guerin to pray. Later I learned of Guerin’s ill health that never swayed her from starting the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence. Her arduous journey from Rue, France to Indiana was a wing and a prayer.
During this time many things happened in my life at the same time I was being treated at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. One beautiful gift was to receive the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick with my family and friends surrounding me in prayer.
As providence would have it my dear friend and co-worker, Melissa Crowley who was born and raised in Terra Haute, Indiana, asked me to sponsor her on the journey to Catholicism. Honored to be walking by her side, she choose Theodore as her Confirmation name in 2011.
Another providential moment came in 2012 when our oldest son, Grant prayerfully discerned the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana “new” Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville, Indiana where he would spend the next four years.
The Masters in Pastoral Theology program Director, Dr. Virginia Unverzaget lit a fire in my bones when she identified our class as “budding theologians.” She told me that our Diocese would be blessed with a holy man as our new Bishop. She had worked for Father Timothy Doherty in his first assignment as a priest and she invited me to his installation as Bishop. Her words to me always evoked the palpable action of the Holy Spirit at work.
I love the saints and especially the words of Saint Mother Teresa, “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, sending a love letter to the world.”
Someday, hopefully my Marian love letter to the world will be published in multiple languages. I was inspired by our Blessed Mother to write a book about the virtues of the holy rosary. Mary the greatest saint of all always leads us to her Son, Jesus.