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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My mentor, Father William Bichsel, Society of Jesus

Thank you, wonderful Bill Bichsel for:

1. Being my spiritual director at Gonzaga University in the early sixties. I was going through some mean head trip times and you listened to me and affirmed me. I cannot remember what we talked about; but I know my trust in you began in those tough, tough days.

2. Bringing my family back to the Roman Catholic Church. You blessed my mother and stepfather's wedding. And she (Lourina Burditt) was the head of the first parish council at the Church of the Immaculate in Seattle and because of the work of her St. Vincent de Paul Committee did at that wonderful Church many poor families had food, clothing, and money made available to them.

3. Supporting me through the two hard years prior to my being approved for ordination. I was really going through changes... trying to figure out how to be a Black man who believed in love and nonviolence. You hung in there with me and the day I got the letter saying that I would be ordained, didn't we party hard, hard, hard!

4. Helping me to see the connection between race--war--peace. Not only by what you said, but what you did... always working to bring people of different classes and races together to love one another--- feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison, and challenging us all to let go of our fears and let go of our need to have the most powerful military machine the world has ever known.

My respect and love for you knows no bounds.

Here is an eight minute video of my wonderful mentor speaking at his eightieth birthday celebration.


Jaynie Jones said...

A glorious tribute to your mentor and friend! We should all be so blessed to have someone such as Fr. Bichsel come into and influence our lives in such a positive, powerful, and meaningful way. He is legendary in the Northwest and you have written a wonderful tribute to him in celebration of his 80th birthday. It is always preferable to give expression to these heartfelt thoughts while the object of our affection is still living rather than to heap on the praise posthumously and lament the loss.

Anonymous said...

I love Fr. Bichsel, he was a huge part of my moms life and when she passed he was there. He is a wonderful man. Love you Bix!

Julie Coblentz

JosephMcG said...

One of the items in the TNT that disturbed Father Bill was the focus on his health: "too many people have been coming up to me and asking me how I am doing," he said the other night with a frown.
He is having trouble with his heart but I recall a year ago at a demonstration watching as he climbed the steep hills of Tacoma at what I thought was an extraordinary pace.
He is open and bright and alert and compassionate... he is committed to changing our swords into ploughshares...

Patty Cake said...

Wondeful tribute to your friend and mentor, Joseph!

Stephanie Frieze said...

What a lovely tribute to someone you care so deeply for!

Lorraine Hart said...

Beautiful Joseph.

Gratitude is a memory of the heart.

Behind The Blue Wall said...

I love him too, and all like him. God bless us all and help us to walk more like he walks. He and 4 others were found guilty in federal court today and facing 10 years in prison.

Activists guilty of breaking into Kitsap naval base
December 13, 2010