A Rude Awakening


Fr. Kevin Dillon

Fr. Kevin Dillon is the Pastor of St. Boniface Martyr Parish, Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY.

Back in the mid 1980’s while I was pursuing a Graduate Degree at Queens College, I had a part time job in the Training and Human Resources Department of The Dime Savings Bank of New York.  It was a very convenient and rather prestigious job for someone who only worked part time three nights a week and every other Saturday.  There were two other older men who also worked in the Department as Training Instructors as well, and they also held full time jobs as English teachers in public school districts.  The three of us were responsible for training and supervising new bank tellers and customer service representatives.  We were not best friends and we did not socialize with each other after work, but I suppose we were good acquaintances and did a fair amount of sharing about our families and personal lives especially during break time.

One day one of the gentlemen, named Jerry, shared how he was a fallen away Catholic and no longer practiced his faith, but when he was in high school he was a devout Catholic and even gave serious thought to be a priest.  In fact, he went as far as to say, he no longer believed there was a God, and that the Church should stay out of the public arena!  His remarks were spoken in reply to a comment I made about my desire to be a priest.  I must admit that I was a bit scandalized by his statements.  Looking back, he was probably one of the first people I met that had such strong feelings against God and the Church.  It certainly was an eye opening experience for me.

However, it got worse and I was shocked a bit more when the other man we worked with spoke up and forcefully and almost triumphantly proclaimed that he and his wife had an abortion.  His exact words were “Esther and I were expecting a child and we didn’t want it; so we had an abortion!”  His tone of speech and cavalier attitude towards human life were alarming to me.  Just the way his words were spoken to me… “We didn’t want it, so we had an abortion.” It sounded as if he were simply disposing of an old pair of shoes and other form of refuse.

I never forgot either of these two conversations, and I suppose I lost some of my innocence and naiveté that day back in 1985.  I tell these two stories because today all over the United States is Respect Life Sunday, and the Catholic Church is squarely and definitively in the forefront of supporting this cause.

All of us need to be realists and confront the notion that there is a serious threat to human life in all forms.  Pope St. John Paul II referred to this as The Culture of Death.  Abortion is NOT the only issue, however, physician assisted suicide is also a real and imminent problem.  Several states, including Oregon now endorse one’s right to terminate his/her own life.

Numerous other forms of a culture of death pervade our society such as terrorism, murders, and a blatant and general disregard for the dignity of the human person.  ALL BELIEVERS IN GOD need to be concerned with issues such as basic and affordable health care and the fact that many people flee oppressive and evil governments that trample upon the rights of basic human dignity.

Here at St. Boniface during the month of October we will pray the Rosary within the context of Eucharistic Adoration several times during the month of October for Pro-life and a deeper appreciation for human dignity. These services will be held Saturday October 1 and all Wednesdays of October at 7 PM in Church and on Sunday October 30 at 3 PM in front of the shrine outside of Church.

I urge you on this RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY to attend these events and to support the Pro-life efforts of the Church and our own Diocese.

 —Fr. Kevin

Fr. Kevin’s letter appears each week in print and online in the St. Boniface Martyr Parish Bulletin.

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