You never know how things are going to come across on the internet. I've had a few kind messages from people, thinking I was upset or down, because of the post (since removed) which at least two people described as "raw." It wasn't as raw as what I had originally written for myself, and it was trying to express something I've been thinking about for some time. So, it wasn't really as raw as it seemed. But since it was interpreted that way, it's probably better that I removed it. I can assure you that I am not down or upset, but actually quite the contrary.
Indeed, I've had a lovely couple of days. One of the things that's great about being a Jesuit priest is that we have this great network of people who are graduates of our educational institutions. Since I am a graduate of Fordham university, I received word that there was a group of Fordham alumni coming to New Orleans this week to assist Catholic Charities and Operation Helping Hands in some of their ongoing rebuilding work. Knowing I was going to be here at the same time, I contacted them and invited them to the parish for mass. They kicked off their week with an alumni reception here in town last night. So, I joined them and some other local alumni last night for drinks and hors d'oeuvres in the French Quarter, and they joined me for mass this morning at 11:00 am. After mass, I joined them for an afternoon around town. So, it's been a really enjoyable couple of days with a group of young alumni, all of whom have graduated within the last ten years. Many of them used their vacation time from work in order to come down here for this trip.
This is truly one of the perks of being a Jesuit. I have enjoyed seeing many of the great positive contributions my former students are making in the world. And that's only a small percentage of the alumni I haven't taught myself from other schools, like this group from Fordham (actually several of them were students at Fordham at the same time I was a student). What a privilege to spend some time with them these last two days! I know they are going to do great work here this week.
So, yeah, sometimes there are the conversations that are a little lacking in Christian charity, and in sensitivity toward people I care about, but that's one of the "perks" too. Knowing the success of our work, witnessed to by the generosity of our Jesuit alumni, helps outweigh the criticism of those who fail to see the good.
So, really, I'm good.