A memorable visit


To the Editor:

I recently attended the Social Justice Institute at the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. The conference was about the late Father Dan Berrigan. The speakers included his sister-in-law, Elizabeth McAllister, Orbis Books publisher Robert Ellsberg; and Fathers John Dear and Ron Rolheiser.


Father John Dear, left, and Father Ron Rolheiser.

I have known Fr. Dear for at least 20 years and have read most of his books, attended retreats and many of his talks. I am convinced that he has taught me more than anyone about Jesus.

I read Fr. Rolheiser’s column faithfully, in addition to his books. He impressed me with his first book, “The Holy Longing.” I look forward to reading his weekly columns in The Catholic Messenger.


Before the conference, I attended Mass in the Oblate School’s chapel and afterwards saw Fathers Dear and Rolheiser talking. I gave Fr. Dear a little wave and they both came over. Fr. Rolheiser invited us to join him for lunch. I cannot describe the joy I found in listening to two awesome people discuss Pope Francis, seminaries, theologians, etc.

After lunch Fr. Rolheiser took us on a tour of the conference site. He promised that a climb up the stairs to the third floor would be worthwhile. The walls were covered with pictures and icons of women. He showed us another flight of steps where the walls were also covered with pictures and icons of women. I took a picture of the priests in front of a marble plaque etched with the words: “Women of the Church. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

Before he left, I told Fr. Rolheiser that I read all of The Messenger, saving the Opinion page for last, and his column for dessert! I am so grateful you carry his columns and think we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful weekly diocesan paper.

Lee Mickey
North Liberty

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