The man kept Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop on his desk for years. So you figure he was ready.
For all of bishop’s many kindnesses to me, I give thanks. For his few injustices against me, I right readily forgive him. May the blame not attach itself to him. I refuse to press charges.
May he forgive me for all the ways I have failed him–all of which he sees with perfect clarity now. He has much more to forgive me than I him.
He knew how to have fun. He and I had fun in his office, over straw hats, and with a desk calculator (trying to figure out how many hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to rebuild all the Church property within 300 yards of Orange Avenue in Roanoke). And I basically laughed in his 300-pound face when he lectured me about keeping fit.
I pray with all my heart that we will dine together in the life to come, a proper southside-Philly Italian meal, without him having to worry about his tricky digestion or his sugars. My dear departed dad was 100% clueless, and that often left me in difficult situations. But I always knew he loved me, with the desperate love of a father who wished he could guide his son, but just didn’t know how. I’m weeping right now, because I saw the same in Bishop DiLo. Resquiecant in pace, both of you, dear fathers. I owe you both.
…Richmond sede vacante is weird. For us parish priests of the diocese, I think it’s even weirder and more doleful than Roma sede vacante. May the good Lord comfort us and help us.