Recently a visitor came to St. Lawrence Friary to visit Fr. Jude. This man was well established in his career as a doctor and had done quite well in life. He came to say thank you to the Capuchin who helped him persevere through a very difficult period in his life. When this man was only a fifteen year old boy his father died. Amidst the pervading fear, grief, loss, confusion and uncertainty, this young boy tearfully went to speak with Fr. Jude asking, “Will you be my father now?”
The consoling words spoken and the genuine warmth of understanding shown by Fr. Jude was like precious ointment to an aching soul.
Now almost fifty years later this young boy turned doctor came once again to express his gratefulness and affection. “I just wanted you to know how much your kind words meant to me and how much your support and encouragement helped me through the difficult years of my growing up and finally becoming the man I am today.”
Amidst the constant changes that life brought about in the lives of these two men, there is one thing you can be sure of, each year Fr. Jude will find a Father’s Day card waiting in his mailbox.
When Fr. Jude is asked what his favorite assignment was, he unhesitatingly replies, “All of them!”
We never know the impact a kind word or deed may have on a person. The ripples of kindness begin from one heart and radiate outwards to others in unsuspecting ways and means. When Fr. Jude is asked what his favorite assignment was, he unhesitatingly replies, “All of them!” And continues with, “Take what God sends. He desires our good, even if we have to suffer, it is all for a greater good.”
Every assignment or situation is brimming with countless possibilities and opportunities for the Lord to work His wonders in building the Kingdom. Some make the headlines, but most go unnoticed. Great occasions for serving God come seldom, but little ones surround us daily. All that is needed is our generous response.
Expressing his own heartfelt gratefulness to the Lord for the many years he has been a religious and a priest comes quite naturally to Fr. Jude. He invites each and every one of us to appreciate the priceless gift of our sacred vocation.