Monday, May 16, 2011


I just returned from a drive up to St Peter’s parish in Montgomery, to concelebrate the funeral Mass of Greg Walker. There is a tremendous amount of “back-story” that is appropriate here…
My first year of teaching at Montgomery Catholic HS (the fall of 1974) was to classes of 9th and 11th graders; Greg was Junior Class President that year. When I had some issues with them in 3rd quarter of that year, I turned to Greg to break down and sort out the issues, and he helped me come to a solution.  This is a class a bonded with, especially with the boys (a boy-dominated class it was, for sure)—and particularly as I had them for 12th grade as well (when Greg was elected SGA President). His wife, Mary Stanaland, was also in that class. When I returned to St Bede as Pastor their children were in St Bede school and Catholic HS, and Mary was teaching kindergarten. It was like old-home week, because of them and many others.

So it was not surprising how many people I saw at this funeral that I have known for 35 years and more: parents as well as former students, and now their spouses and children and their children’s spouses. The line for receiving Holy Communion was beautiful to me, and painful as well, knowing how many people’s lives Greg impacted, and how much he will be missed.

In his homily, Fr Pat Driscoll emphasized over and over again the centrality of community in Catholic life. And that is what was represented in St Peter’s today: long-term community, the community of faithfulness to others and to the Lord that gave a real glimpse into the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God. And for me it represented also the continuity of all those years of inter-action, regard, and of living through all the “prayers, works, joys and sorrows of the day”: and of the years. As people say, “We have history.”

Greg longed to remain connected, and the numbers that showed up today (and last night for the wake which I could not attend) attest to the fact of his success. And it leads to important questions for us: “With whom are we connected?” “Why?” “What is the ‘glue’ that bonds us to anyone else?” “Who is the Lord, and what is the Faith, in our lives?”

Today, Greg’s answers to these questions were manifest. How about ours?

1 comment:

  1. Fr. David,

    Thanks for driving up for Greg's funeral. I think Mary & the family were thrilled to see you. I'm sure your being there meant a lot to them.

    Hope you'll have a great trip to Italy.

    Brad Walker