As I finished up my first weekend in the Aspiancy Diaconate program, I couldn’t help but wonder what my dad would say if he were here. My dad had faults, like we all do, but he was a good man at heart, a very giving man, especially to the poor and to those in need of a loaf of bread or whatever he could give. My dad was a bread man. He worked for Rainbo Bread Company for over 20 years. During that time I had my struggles with him in my early years however, I always noticed how he never turned away anyone who was in need of bread or whatever he could give them. Like I said, he was a very giving man and he always thanked God for what he had.
He was born in the small town of Carencro, Louisiana. He came from a simple and poor family with strong Roman Catholic roots as did most Cajun families back then. He was heavily involved in his Church serving as an alter boy and also helping his priest around the house. Later on, as with most Catholic men, he became more of a man of the world. As we, his children, started to grow older, I noticed him going back to Church here and there and as he grew older, he started attending daily mass like he did back in his childhood. He would always tell me, “Mijo (son – in Spanish) you should go to Church and thank God for all you have. You own a successful business, you have a beautiful wife and three beautiful children, thank God for all that he has given you.” I had not yet come back to the Church and would reply with my typical “yeah dad, I know” but I never did. It wasn’t like in my teenage years or my early twenties when he would get mad at me for not going to Church, instead, he planted the seed and allowed God to do the rest.
My dad passed away on January 18th, 2012. I came back fully to the Catholic faith in November of that same year. There were many people who played a vital role in my return to the Church and my dad was one of them. In his later years he was a great example of a Catholic man because he was Catholic and Christian by actions, not just by name. I’ve had many other examples in my life like him as well, the biggest one being my bride. My dad was always proud of me for the things that I’ve accomplished in my life but I know he would have been extremely proud to see me return to the faith like I finally did.
Dad, if you are listening, and I know you are, I’m sorry for being such a knucklehead and not listening to you with my ears when you tried to encourage me to turn to God. I’m glad to say that even though my ears never heard you, my heart did and I hope that I am making you proud now. I love you.