Seventeen Proud Years

The Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water like a wall on their right and their left.

Where your unworthy servant was baptized

We Christians are marching to the holy mountain, where it is always springtime.

To outfit us to march forward, the Lord initiates us through the sacraments. We must be washed, anointed, and fed.

Easter is a good time for us to recall and thank God for the sacraments that have made us Christians.

On October 18, 1970, I was baptized by a well-meaning non-Catholic, non-priest at New York Avenue Presbyterian church. My parents were kind enough to carry me to the font, and they saw to it that I was in church every Sunday for the next 17 ½ years. I am grateful.

But there was still some unfinished business. On Holy Saturday night, 1993, I was confirmed and given Holy Communion for the first time by Father Ed Ingebretsen in Dahlgren Chapel at Georgetown University.

Seventeen years ago this morning, I woke up washed, anointed, and fed for the first time in my life.

It is good to be Catholic.

No one—not the Washington Post or the New York Times, not CBS News or CNN, not Geraldo Rivera or Sinead O’Connor—no one is going to tell me that it is not good to be Catholic on Easter Sunday.

We Catholics hate it when people do evil. We hate it that priests have done great evil and hurt innocent young people. We hate it that some bishops have failed to discipline their clergy like they should have.

But we know this, too: The world needs the mercy of God that comes to us through His Church.

As Norman MacLean put it in “A River Runs through It,”

When you pick up a fly rod, you will soon find it factually and theologically true that man by nature is a damn mess.

We need God. We need Christ. We need the Church. We need the sacraments. We need to be washed, anointed, and fed, so that we can march toward the goal.

Where your unworthy servant was Confirmed a Catholic

…How badly do I want Butler to beat Duke?

I wanted the Giants to beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. But not this much. I wanted N.C. State to beat Houston in 1983. But not this much. I wanted Delpo to beat Federer, but not this much.

4 thoughts on “Seventeen Proud Years

  1. Happy Easter. Thanks for the pics from your pilgrimage of faith. How about a pic of where you are currently a pastor? Also, can you get your mind around Donovan McNabb as a Redskin? He’s a Catholic BTW.

  2. Happy Easter Fr. White! Thank you for the Lenten and Easter reflections on your blog in the past few months, and happy 17th anniversary!

  3. Father White, Friend of mine, uh, ours. The coach of Duke is one of the class acts of our time. You know why I picked them to win in the pool? He made the sign of the cross before a game. That was my sign to cheer for them. Butler has time to be #l. They played such a great game. Who “among you” can honestly say there was only ONE winner. Anyway, I just happened to win the tournament pool. love ya, Padre.

  4. Dear Father, I am glad you are a Catholic. The Church is a much holier and loving place since you were converted. Your love for everyone is powerful. Working for God definately makes you a more interesting person. Thanks be to God for you.

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