There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity.
There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity.
There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153)
Years ago, in the 1980s, when I taught at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, I was part of a wonderful faculty of over 100. About 16 of us were priests, and we lived in a very nice residence on the top floor of the high school. My neighbor was John Monaghan, a priest for almost 20 years, who had taught at Spellman since it opened in the 1960s. John was such a welcoming, gracious, and kind priest to this young priest who had been ordained not even three years and had so much to learn. This past week I was informed by a friend from New York that John passed away as a result of the coronavirus. And then on Maundy Thursday I was informed that a priest friend of mine, Msgr. Richard Guastella, who I’ve known for over 40 years, also passed away as a result of the coronavirus. He was pastor of St. Clare’s, a thriving congregation on Staten Island, and he was the kind of priest admired by priests, certainly admired by me, and someone we all looked up to. I have wonderful memories of Richie. When I taught high school in the Bronx, he invited me to offer some retreats for parishioners in his parish on the upper east side of Manhattan. Their deaths break my heart. These are challenging times.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who revitalized Benedictine monasticism so many years ago, captures something quite powerful for me in the above quote. I’m sure you would agree that during this COVID-19 crisis, there are many heroes. When I think of the third sentence in the above quote, There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is love, I immediately think of the heroes in the medical field. Whether physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, nursing assistants, medical technologists, lab personnel, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, EMS workers, and so many others, they sought knowledge in order to serve. And that is LOVE.
I just want to say thanks to those in our parish who work in the medical field. We are thankful for the knowledge you continually seek so that you can serve. We love you.
— Fr. George
For more parish resources and updates during the global pandemic, visit St. Paul’s Connects.Tags: From the Clergy, Hope for the Journey