Monday, May 23, 2005

Urban Hero

Over the weekend, my family had a wonderful time celebrating my older brother's wedding in Baltimore. Like all weddings, it was full of interesting bits, but I've found that my family doesn't particularly like to be blogged about (hah -- I wonder why?), so I'll write about someone else: Fr. William Watters, the priest who presided at the wedding ceremony.

He is a most impressive clergyman; a Jesuit through and through. Utterly unflappable, he remembered every person's name after being told only once, and directed us through the service with ease and grace.

When it came time for the wedding homily, he suprised both bride and groom by recalling to them things they had said to him during their very first pre-cana interview months ago. His remarks were a typically Jesuitical blend of deep spirituality, meticulous preparation, and great personal warmth.

He was so good that afterwards a lapsed Catholic remarked, "he made me want to come back!" He got good reviews from the Protestants, Hindus, and agnostics in attendance, too.

But weddings are just what he does in his spare time. After being posted for many years in Nigeria, he came back to the states some years ago to recuperate from a serious illness. Jesuit recuperation apparently includes founding and running a rigorous middle school for poor, at-risk boys in urban Baltimore.

It's called the Ignatius Loyola Academy, and you can read Fr. Watters' message here.

I am so glad I met this man.


That Girl said...

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David Wharton said...

Thank you, funkyloona.