When we say the prayer for more priests, good priests- my memory is jogged back to my years at Syracuse University. My best friend was an eccentric French Canadian priest. I knew no one with the exception of my roommate, we both had part time jobs and spent many late hours studying instead of sleeping.
I made many visits to church during lunch time, a quick break from school or work, sitting alone and saying silent prayers. Father Devereau introduced himself to me on one of these visits. He was an academic, very quick-witted and an amazing observer. We shared so many stories, talked philosophy and religion, of course.
He told me of the woman who cleaned the church and his residence and what she had taught him. Noticing how cheerful she was impressed him; she sang while she worked, he asked her what the secret of her happiness was. She said she always saved her worrying till Thursdays, and by the time Thursday came around, she had forgotten what it was. He loved it and it thought was a good approach for everyone.
This was a lonely time for me and I knew he sensed this. I have kept some of the little notes of encouragement he would give me. I shared some writings that had touched my heart and he would comment on them. I do not remember who wrote this one but I include it as one of my favorites and try to see blessings daily.
There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousand truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet, but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.
I am grateful for the many priests who have blessed my way. Father Devereau was one of many I keep in prayer.
…for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Acts 11:24
Shirley Cochran lived in 7 states as a military wife, her family finally moved to Cincinnati. They were civilians with real neighbors. Her children were educated in Cincinnati and think of it as home. An auto accident changed their lives, Shirley’s husband was killed and her 3 children were still in school. She needed to be busy and found work a year or so later. It filled the void somewhat and she remarried 4 years later. She and her new husband moved to North Carolina and lived happily for some time when he died. She came ‘home’, found Miami Woods which reminded her of North Carolina. She also found St. Andrew Church and has been a parishioner for 15 years.