I may have shared this tale before, but this morning it seems appropriate to tell it again. Many many years ago on a planet now far far away, a cloistered young Jesuit was visited by three beautiful young women, who someone found a way to travel from Toronto to a farm in rural Guelph Ontario to visit an old friend. One was a sort of Catholic, or better put, a Catholic of her own sort , and the other two, as the people from Glasgow say, kicked with the other foot. They approached the monastic enclave carefully, braving all the stares of bewilderment that could have freighted them off, and would have to be experienced to be really understood. Their names were Linda Inkpen, Jan Eaton, and Mary Dyer, and they brought with them laughter, immense joy and rays of sunshine into that cold and damp world of asceticism. Jan is now the delightful, gracious and caring Jan O’Dea, Linda many of you know as that brilliant star she always was, and Mary is now Mary Gordon of Roots of Empathy, a well-known and acclaimed social entrepreneur. What many of you do not know is that I later attended Linda’s wedding, and joyfully went to Wesley United in St. John’s , decked out in Roman collar and all, and given the time, my presence did not go unnoticed. I was delighted to somehow return the great gift she gave to me. What you also do not know is that Mary Gordon and I have kept in fairly regular contact over the past 50 years. Part of me always has and continues to love Mary, and we have always intermittingly celebrated our special bond. I am so very proud of what she has accomplished. Imagine Mary lecturing at Harvard; she has indeed reached great heights.
This morning I awoke to a note from Mary, not in itself unusual. She sent along a picture of her beautiful daughter and granddaughter. Mary now needs all of our prayers and positive thoughts and I ask those of you who pray to remember her, and those of you who have positive energy to send it through the air to someone who many of us know and love. Mary is not fine, but she is not ill, her daughter faces some challenges. Let’s leave it at that, but please do pray for the whole family.