Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Starting Point

Article excerpt

Charlie was my pastor when I was assigned to a small parish in northern New Jersey. There was a big spread of years between us. I was 26 years old and he was in his early 50s. He called me "the kid" but I did not mind. We kept in touch over the years.

A good man but shy, he did not find it easy to share his feelings. Yet the feelings were there, and he did his best.

One night at supper he told me how hard it was for him to turn and face the people when the changes came with the Second Vatican Council. I sensed that it was hard, even a bit painful, for him to tell me that.

He choked up a bit when he said that he had loved the church he was ordained for and that it hurt when it all changed. "But I have tried to turn and to relate as the church has asked me to," he said.

We had good years together--I could always talk with him and he appreciated trying to learn things from "the kid." Charlie turned and I thanked him for that. …

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