Excerpts From the Biography of Father Gerald by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.
INTRODUCTION: Father Gerald was a topic of conversation with myself and my husband on many occasions. I learned so much about this Priest. He used to visit my husbands family in Weymouth on Broad St. He would talk to the four boys and he came to dinner often. I am blessed to have married into a family who was so close to this priest.
Aunt Marian and Uncle Ed lived next door and they had five children. Father Gerald would go see them too. One of their boys, young Ed, was in the Navy. One day when Father Gerald was visiting them he said to Aunt Marian: “Marian, you had better pray a lot for Ed today” and she said that Father had a distant look in his eyes. She did pray.
Later, when Ed came home safely, he told of a scary occasion. A torpedo went by the side of their ship. They could see it. It rocked the ship tremendously, and, kept going. It was the same day that Father Gerald had told Marian to pray extra hard.
My husband loved Father Gerald.
ON TO THE WORDS OF FATHER GERALD
In these hard time for priests, which was predicted by Father Gerald, I chose only a few paragraphs of encouragement with the words of this priest spoken some sixty years ago to warn that the priesthood was in danger.
“Faith tells the priest that in the Blessed Sacrament is really, truly and substantially present the living Son of God in human form. As a matter of fact, here is heaven, a veiled heaven. Here is the actuality of a Divine Lover. Our hearts are built to love and one of the fruitful causes of defection in the priesthood, is the failure to fill up the vacuum that is created by the vow of chastity with another love.
A man is bound to love something. He may deny it, but ordinarily that type of man who denies the necessity of love in his life, will seek the most terrible and ugly of all loves which is the love of his own ego, the love of self.
Where we have pledged ourselves not to give our hearts to creatures, at least in that most intimate and strong love that the chords of Adam draws one towards … the marriage union … we must sublimate our hearts into a love and a love that is offered us, a legitimate love for the priest’s heart is the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lord.
It is impossible to exaggrate the importance of elevating one’s affections above earthly desires and center them on Christ, present in the Eucharist, as a condition for celibate fidelity.
If a priest loves the Blessed Sacrament enough, he will sacrifice … besides other virtues … the attractiveness of human love.
When I was a young priest, I made it a practice in parish life, whenever I married a couple – I married many attractive young couples – I always would slip around afterwards to the back of the tabernacle and kiss it thanking God that He had not given my heart to a creature, but to Himself.
Implicit in this insistence on cultivating a deep personal love for Christ is a deep-seated tendency in human nature that needs to be supernaturalized.”
The book has many good thoughts for a priest, I would think. The copy I got from Amazon has underlining and writing … which I’m guessing a priest did. I love to get a copy like that.
A Prophet For The Priesthood Father John A. Hardon, S.J.
2 thoughts on “Father Gerald Fitzgerald: A Prophet For The Priesthood”
Wonderful post for this sad time in the Church and very similar to the words of St Pope Gregory the Great today. The Blessed Sacrament is the Source and the Summit, all we are and all our Priests should be!
Thank you so very much!
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