Every young man looks up to male role models. A boy learns to be a man from other men. As dad fixes a broken chair out in the tool shed, his son works diligently with his plastic hammer and screwdriver. Jesus learned to be a man from Joseph, his father.
But since my father was absent from my life, I sought others who could fill the void. A very holy priest in a parish I frequented filled it and inspired me to emulate him and to imitate Christ. Through him Jesus called me, and that priest guided me to make the best decision of my life: to follow Christ in a congregation of men who too were role models of a manly imitation of the One I wanted to be like.
You tend to bond to the one who inspires you, and I bonded to Christ. I also bonded to my brothers in Christ who were an inspiration and an encouragement to persevere in my vocation.
That bond snapped in a dramatic way one spring day, and my adoptive father began to die a slow death, a death that would lead to a funeral and burial on May 1, 2010.