HOMILY FOR THE ORDINATION MASS OF BROTHER PATRICK MC DAID, S.M. AND BROTHER RICHARD VILLA, S.M.
Our Lady of the Pillar St. Louis, Missouri August 22, 2008
As we gather here at Our Lady of the Pillar today, as family and friends of Richard Villa and Patrick McDaid, as part of the .greater family of the Marianists, and finally as the Faithful of Christ, to celebrate the priestly ordination of our sons, brother and friends Patrick and Richard, I believe it would be well to reflect the words of Father Chaminade to the first Marianists: “As I see you now, I once saw you in spirit at Saragossa.” What do we see now, and what does Father Chaminade see now, and what does he wish us to see, all joined here together on this joyous day in the communion of the Body of Christ, joined with the communion of Saints?
Richard and Patrick, as Father Chaminade sees you now, he sees the lives and faith of your families and friends gathered here, and others as well who helped bring you to this day by their love and example of their faith. The discerning of a vocation to consecrated life and the priesthood of Jesus Christ is made possible through the voices, lives, lived faith and witness of those whom the Lord Himself sends our ways. Richard, you were reflecting last night that that it was the support of the Brothers and their community life that were like a light bulb that showed the way. Your reflection, Patrick, was that from your family to religious life was a natural transition: where families keep one humble, the Brothers keep one grounded! Hearing the voice of the Lord to “come follow me,” listening to the many incidents and people the Lord keeps sending our way over the years, so that we finally say, yes we can do this ... or it might be as clear as having one’s name written out on a piece of paper and pulled out of a drawer to see who had a religious vocation! None of those events are by accident; rather they are part of the Lord’s providential plan for His will and call for both of you!