Pets Included

by Fr. Jeff

I have become all things to all, to save at least some. –1 Corinthians 9:19

In seminary, I remember hearing several reflections and talks about priests following this example of St. Paul. We have the opportunity to be with people at all moments of their lives: from birth to death and everywhere in between.

Tonight, I was called for something I never expected.

When I answered the phone, I could tell from the tone of his voice that something was wrong:

“Father, are you at the church?”

“No,” I replied, “I’m on the road, but I’ll be there in about 15 minutes.”

“Could you stop by for a second? We have a little crisis.”

“Sure,” I said. “I’ll be there soon.”

As I pulled up to the house, I learned what was going on. It was her 10th birthday. Her friends were all there. There was cake, presents, and decorations.

But amidst all the celebration, there was an accident and her puppy died. She was devastated. The party turned sad and somber.

When I pulled up, I was expecting the worst. But I was relieved to know that the parents had done a great job of cheering them up.

“Father, could you say some prayers?”

“Of course.” Everyone gathered in the kitchen. We prayed, and with a little burial ceremony, the party resumed.

Priesthood: all things for all people,

pets included.