Fr. Dan White, S.J.
October 19, 2014
Last month the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story on Mr. David Steward, a major benefactor of the renovated Harold and Dorothy Steward Jazz Center (former Jazz at the Bistro). Reflecting on his journey from small-town Missouri to being the owner of the largest black-owned company in America, he stated, "Every day, at the end of the day, I ask myself, ‘Am I living my life worthy of the sacrifice and commitment the people who went before me made on my behalf?’. ‘Am I honoring that and respecting that?’ I don’t want their sacrifice to be in vain. I have an accountability, an obligation to pass it on for generations to come.”
I found it hard not to think of St. Francis Xavier (College) Church in light of his statement. Two short years from now we celebrate 175 years as a parish. That is no small accomplishment. Just imagine all of the parishioners who came before us, and the sacrifices and commitment they made for generations unseen. They could have never imagined what the parish could be, yet they gave of themselves as a gift we now possess.
Tradition is one of the greatest strengths of our Catholic faith. It is a living, dynamic relationship with what has gone before that nourishes our vision of what is to come. Rooted in the foundation established by our spiritual ancestors, we reflect on our own responsibility for those to come. Perhaps part of our prayer this week may be gratitude for what we have received, and the Lord’s help for our own generosity for future generations.