Lawrence D. Gillick, SJ
It was glorious and not unusual in the Catholic 50s and early 60s for young men in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to enter seminaries and novitiates. Religious life was regarded as the “happy life.” Jesuit life, priesthood, were considered special and a bit exalted. I had an uncle who was a Jesuit and when he came back to the Midwest from Gonzaga University, well, everything stopped and there were special dinners and we gathered for the saying of the rosary and went to “hear Mass” that he was saying. It was all quite grand and glorious.
It may have appeared to those on the outside, but it didn’t seem the “happy life,” and definitely not too glorious on the inside of the novitiate nor inside me upon entering. It did get better and actually happier as I figured out what it meant to “die to oneself.” I am still finding happiness in learning that little part of following Jesus.
Fifty years later “glorious” has been changed to “glorification.” Stability has evolved into change, and exalted has become service. My participation in Christ’s Priesthood is a direct and quite dramatic result of the encouragement insistence, and assistance of my Jesuit companions. There is no doubt
about that! They faced me with the truth of God’s gifts to me which were given for the blessing of the Church. This Church and world are so different and so am I, and I’m very grateful.
BORN: November 30, 1939
ENTERED: March 11, 1961
ORDAINED: June 8, 1972
RESIDES: Mulumba House, Omaha
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