Thursday, June 15, 2017
We moved from the Bronx to White Plains when I was 12, and our new parish, St. Bernard's, had a priest in residence named Father Podachek. He had a little bit of an East European accent, but his English was fine. His day job was in New York City working for the Archdiocese in a national or international ministry. He was "in residence," in the parish. He was not on the staff. On weekends, when he was in town, Fr. Podachek would say Sunday mass and preach. The other priests were OK to dreadful in the pulpit. Many of us looked forward to Fr. Podachek. He was always personable and his preaching was wonderful. Now, for a few here in Boulder, I have become their Fr. Podachek. Sometimes, don't you wonder if you make any difference? And then you think of someone you admire, and make a connection with your own life. Fr. Podachek married my sister Maureen to her husband Fred. He was always helpful, and not so focused on the rules. Children like me admired him. He had no say about what went on in the parish politics, yet he had a profound influence on our spiritual life. I think I at times channel Fr. Podachek. Right now, me, a "mere" in residence priest, am feeling pretty good about my life and priesthood. One or two here in Boulder would agree. Well, it's a start.