Reflecting on John 10:14
I like to think about all the great shepherds I’ve had in my life. My grade school music teacher, Sr. Genevieve, comes to mind. “Kathy,” she said to me when I was twelve, “here’s the key to the back door of the church. Let yourself in, go up to the choir loft, turn on the organ, give yourself the first note and sing the Mass.”
I remember, shortly after my Confirmation, being picked up after school and taken to an inner-city parish to help with a Religious Education class. “Kathy,” said the wonderfully kind director there, “Here’s the book. Here’s the kids. Sing to them. Tell them stories. Teach them to love Jesus”
I remember Father Frank Syrianey, he of blessed memory, who was the pastor of my parish when I was in college. I had no idea then the great blessing of having such a wise, warm priest at the helm a few years after the Council. I rang the doorbell of the rectory one afternoon, and he answered.
“Hi, Father,” I said, “you don’t know me, but my name is Kathy.” And he said these unforgettable words to me: “Of course I know you.”
That’s a good shepherd. The one who calls forth gifts, who inspires young people to lead, who knows us by name―that’s the Good Shepherd so desperately needed today.
A few weeks ago, as they were working on the music for Holy Week, about a dozen of the stunningly talented teenagers in my parish had to be shooed out of church by their brilliant choir director because it was time to lock up.
You know what? one said. Church is my favorite place to be.
Who are the good shepherds who are helping to build the next generation of believers?
Kathy McGovern ©2016