There Are Holy Priests, Too
By KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ
September 17, 2018 6:30 AM
I’ve been thinking a lot about priests lately. In truth, I often do, as some of my best friends happen to wear Roman collars. I see them on their low days, and I see them in moments of true total self-surrender. Of course, you know why I’d be thinking about them even more lately. For priests who seek holiness in loving service to God’s people — striving to see God in every person they encounter — these are grueling times. And a few conversations I’ve had lately have reminded me that the good and holy among them, while still human beings, can have a lot of wisdom to offer — if they are true pray-ers. I know some of them, thanks be to God. And they help me see more clearly.
One of the priests I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is on the other side of the veil between here and eternity. Father Arne Panula was most recently director of the Catholic Information Center (CIC) in Washington, D.C., a hub for many things truly Catholic. I still have a vivid memory of seeing him after he had a very close call in his battle with cancer. Back from the brink, he had taken Amtrak from D.C. for a dinner in New York. He seemed as close as an encounter with resurrection as one can get, and he was wearing a radiance that could have only been of God.