November naturally brings to mind thankfulness. We thank God for his infinite love, for our family, friends, work, and the inspiration we receive from others. My father inspired me through a simple act:
My dad was an ironworker. He had the same job for over 40 years. He gave his time helping at our parish on various projects. The church had a wide porch and my dad offered to make a pair of railings to help elderly parishioners climb the steps.
He crafted two railings at the family shop. He took me along, and I helped cut the pickets and smooth the rough edges. I watched him sketch out the plans on a steel table using a grease pencil. His knowledge and skill impressed me, but more I got a glimpse of my dad as a faithful man who cared for others. His generous spirit showed in his simple deeds done lovingly. Thanks, Dad for showing me how to be a Christian through a concern for others.
As a Redemptorist, I’m thankful for my new brother confreres: Thien Hoang, who took first vows in July; John Son Tran, who took his perpetual vows just this October; Kevin Zubel and Quy Duong, who were ordained to the diaconate in June; and Aaron Meszaros, who was ordained to the priesthood in April. Moreover, the nine young men in our Nigerian Vice-Province who were ordained at this year’s Jubilee celebration.
I’m thankful for our formation programs in Chicago and the Bronx—especially Vincent Nguyen, who started his Novitiate this fall. I’m thankful for the new postulants who joined us in the Bronx this semester, and for the 20-25 more aspirants regularly corresponding with our Vocation Directors – Fr. Lamar Partin and Fr. Luong Uong.
As Director of the Co-Redemptorist Association, I’m thankful for you. Your gifts and prayers accompany our men in the formation program. Our work is your gifts bearing fruit. Please show your own thankfulness this month for God’s harvest by continuing your giving today.
In Christ the Redeemer,
Father John K. Schmidt,
Director, Co-Redemptorist Association
P.S. Please send me your thanksgiving intentions today, and include a gift if you are able.