And may inspire others to come back to church!
Humans of New Yorkrecently featured Fr. Bill Holt, OP, a highly regarded Dominican who’s been a priest for over 40 years. Through his experience of being a pastor, he’s seen his parishioners at their most vulnerable and his faith and compassion have brought much comfort to many.
Fr. Holt describes one particularly emotional episode in which he helped a dying little girl and her family, which you can read in the post below:
While the passage in itself is very inspiring, the positivity with which it was met gave us much hope that those who may not be particularly religious still have a desire to have a relationship with God, and maybe even find their way into a Catholic church.
“Where is your parish, Father? Your presence, your outlook, your optimism and kindness … that’s the type of religion that I want to be part of,” shared one commenter.
While some people quite rightly determined Fr. Holt to be a Dominican friar, it was wonderful to see how others responded to the priest’s work. Another commenter pointed out he was “A true man of God! Spreading love, sunshine and comfort “
Whereas another said: “I have something in my eye. Even someone like me who’s not religious can see someone doing God’s work and a kind heart.”
This thought was echoed by another commenter, who shared: “I love this so much. He really is bringing the love of God into the real life struggles people have. He doesn’t minimize their pain, he walks alongside them.”
And one person rightly highlighted: “‘Mystery is reality, imbued with God’s presence.’ I’m not a believer, but that is beautifully phrased.”
Yet it’s not just the internet users who are impressed with Fr. Holt. A Dominican friar who knows the priest told Aleteia:
Fr. Holt is universally beloved by young friars. He’s famous for his “Holt-isms” (little pieces of friendly priestly advice) and for sending thoughtful notes to encourage the brothers in their work.
He is also a highly sought-after confessor. And those able to to go St. Vincent Ferrer in NYC, where Fr. Holt is in residence, will be able to hear him celebrate Mass, or even have him hear their confessions.
While most of us will not get to meet Fr. Holt in person, we can take inspiration from him to have compassion, embrace life, and start up our own “sunshine files.”
Thanks to Brandon Stanton and HONY for graciously allowing us to share the photo.