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.