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Fathers

May 30, 2010

Roman Catholicism works like any large bureaucracy, personnel get shipped around a lot.  The pastor at my parish, Father Tony Volz, is being transferred across town.  We’ll miss him.  He is friendly and easygoing.  I think Fr. Tony can say Mass faster than any priest I have ever known.  There are not a lot of wasted steps or extra fluff.

Father Tony’s homilies are brief and extemporaneous.  If you don’t pay attention, he may be finished before you’ve processed the opening statement.  Fr. Tony is straightforward and matter-of-fact; he avoids the overwrought style I’m wont to display.

Off-the-cuff speaking comes with risks of meandering topics or disjointed thoughts.  Fr. Tony avoids these for the most part, but sometimes his messages are a little rough around the edges.  On the other hand, he can make a strong point with a few simple words.  I came across one of Father Tony’s homilies from a few years ago that I wrote down.  I tried at the time to transcribe it in Fr. Tony’s words as well as I could.

I was in a Subway restaurant getting lunch.  A little girl of two or three was sitting in a booth.  Her grandmother sat across from her, but her father was in line ahead of me.  Her dad had given her a toy to play with while she waited.  She dropped the toy.  It fell between the booth seats—and with it went her entire world.

She cried horribly over the loss of her toy.  Her dad in front of me was calm.

“Abby,” he said, “calm down.  I will be there in a minute and I will take care of it.”

The little girl stopped crying, assured that her dad would be there soon to take care of it.

How often do we find ourselves wrapped up in our own world and our own troubles, crying that things are not the way they should be?  In these times we need to trust that God will be with us always and he will take care of us.

I wish Father Tony well in the next phase of his career.  May God care for him on his journey.

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