The Year for the Priest has ended, but here is another Year for the Priest story that just took place.  So, though this is a semi-retro post, the news it contains is hot off the press – as in I just got off the phone with the good Padre having gotten this information.

   Many of you know Father Riley, long-time priest friend of Seton, a Notre Dame grad and for a time assigned as an associate at All Saints Parish.   During the June shuffling of priests for the Arlington Diocese, Father Riley was reassigned to the Denver Archdiocese, specifically to teach at the St. Augustine Institute.

   The St. Augustine Institute is housed in a part of what used to be Loretto Heights College.  This is the college where Mrs. Carroll did her undergraduate studies and became known to many at Seton because Boomtown, Seton’s 2009 Spring Musical, was produced and first preformed there.  Therefore, Father Riley will be teaching in a classroom that Mrs. Carroll sat in as a student 50 years ago.

   It sounds as if Father Riley will be saying Mass in various parishes on Sundays.  As it happened, this past Sunday, the 4th of July, he said Mass at St. Augustine’s Parish in Brighton.  (I think his saying Mass there and his teaching at the St. Augustine Institute was just coincidental.)  His sermon centered on Confession, and he told the congregations at the three consecutive Masses he offered that he would hear confessions between the 1st and 2nd Masses and after the 3rd. 

   Now, many people probably have the impression that people from Colorado are perfect, or very nearly so.  However, Father Riley found out differently.   After the 3rd Mass, which started at 11:00, Father heard confessions for three hours.  That is phenomenal.   Consider that it was the 4th of July and confessions were not scheduled for that time, so no one coming to Mass could have been planning to stay for confessions.  Yet, people waited as long as three hours, from noon to three, which are the hours that Our Lord hung on the cross, to be shriven probably giving up the chance to have the first hot dog hot off the Independence Day grill.  Coloradoans may not be perfect, but sacrificial we are!  Also, we tend to like to confess to priests recently relocated here who have no idea who we are.

   Father Riley, a true fisher of men, refers to people who come to confession after a long absence from the sacrament as “big fish”.  I imagine he might have caught a good sized Colorado fish or two.


   I am somewhat lost right now because we are not in the Year of Anything.  I like Years of Something. I hope Pope Benedict soon announces another Year of Whatever.  I do not know if His Holiness is a regular reader of this blog (he has never commented), but let me suggest the Year of Married Couples. 

   In anticipation of the Pope adopting my idea, here is some more info you might be interested in.  Dr. and Mrs. Carroll, on July 6th, celebrated their 43rd  wedding anniversary.  I was the ring bearer at their wedding at the old Our Lady of Lourdes in Wiggins previously talked about in “Off Ramp”.  I carried their rings on Mom’s heirloom silver plate.  If you get a chance to see either or both of the Carrolls, you might want to take an inconspicuous glance at their ring finger(s) and imagine me at nine years of age carrying the ring(s) on that plate.  This should be an uplifting experience.

   Another interesting bit of information is that the Carrolls to celebrate their wedding anniversary have always gone to an ethnic restaurant – a different nation’s each year.  Mrs. Carroll, of course, can name all 43 of the countries and probably tell you what she ate at each of them.  I suggested Outback Steakhouse for Australia, but the people at Outback said it was just a name and not authentic Australian cuisine.  Glad they were honest – it could have broken the string.

    This year the Carrolls went to a Filipino restaurant.  The Fili Cheese Steak comes highly recommended, but Mrs. Carroll said she was tending toward the fili mignon.


Jezu, ufam Tobie.