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The folks at Our Sunday Visitor asked me to write a few words about my vocation journey, and it’s just been published:
On a cool May morning in 2007, I found myself in the last place I ever expected to be: face down on the hard floor of a Catholic basilica, as a choir chanted the Litany of the Saints and I received the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Moments later, the bishop’s hands rested on my head and I became, incredibly, a permanent deacon. How on earth did this happen? If I had to pinpoint a date, it would be Sept. 11, 2001. I was a writer and producer for CBS News, and that morning, they put me to work in the television newsroom, writing hourly updates for an event unlike any we had covered before. That night, Dan Rather opened the CBS Evening News with these words: “Good evening. This is a day you will remember for the rest of your life.” I didn’t realize then what that really meant — and how everything in my world was about to change. In the days that followed, between the candlelight vigils and photocopied pictures taped to bus stops and the endless funerals accompanied by bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace,” I had a growing sense that the world had shifted. And my priorities had shifted, too. Again and again, I was reminded that everything I’d worked for could be gone in an instant. I thought of the old Peggy Lee standard: “Is that all there is?” There must be something else I was supposed to be doing, right?
Read onto find out what led me to that hard basilica floor.
Photo: Ed Wilkinson / The Tablet