MONDAY, November 2 (All Faithful Departed)

Psalm 56. You have rescued my soul from death.

Word has reached me that John B. Tillson Jr. has died. His death did not make the front page of newspapers or stir wide interest. But for me it was shattering. By his passing I was diminished, bereft of a friend. He lived a long and productive life in service to the church, working many years for the Diocese of Massachusetts. When I met him he was the director of development at my seminary. I would never have thought a lay person would be my mentor, my hero, and so instrumental in preparing me for priesthood.

John lived the kind of life that was genuine, sincere, and without guile. He was the truest Christian I have ever known. For who I am as a person and a priest, I am indebted to John and the many others who took the time to care for me, correct me, teach me, or point me in the right direction.

On this day we commemorate the souls of all the faithful departed. Some of them have monuments and memorials; most have none–except our remembrance of them on this day. Let us be grateful for them.

Those who come long after us will offer grateful remembrance to God for the lives we have led. Did you think taking up your cross and following Jesus was merely an extraordinary thing? It is a saintly thing.

PRAY for the Diocese of Ukwa (Niger Delta, Nigeria)

Ps 57, [58] * 64, 65; Neh 6:1-19; Rev 10:1-11; Matt 13:36-43

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