Men of the cloth deserve to receive some praise, too

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2008

By Harold Keller

I’ve heard it repeated many times that God blesses us with the people we meet on our journey toward eternity. Pastor Joseph Rodney of our Lady of Grace Catholic Church is one of those people that I’ve had the privilege of knowing for a few years. On occasion, I’ve attended services at his church and, once in a while, I meet him at the post office.  His spirit is what first attracted me to him.

Last week, Beverly Frank, the receptionist at the Parish President’s office, told me that he would be celebrating his 40th anniversary as a Catholic priest on Sunday, June 29th, at 3:00 p.m.  Wanting to honor him and being afraid of missing something, I decided to attend.  

When I arrived at the church, I was tempted to turn around because of the number of cars in the parking lot. I thought, “With so many people, I’ll never get a seat and I’m sure nobody, including Father Rodney, will miss me.” Fighting the temptation to leave, I decided to stay.  

The church was packed, people were standing in the back, and the cry room was full, but one of the ushers found me a place that I could squeeze into.  

The service was a joyous affair. The choir was excellent, dressed in their blue robes, trimmed in white.  They weren’t there to entertain but to worship God in song. They sang, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” “What More Can I Do.” “Just When I Need Him Most,” “In the Garden,” and “I’m Blessed.” No so-called Christian rap or rock – only worship music.  

Father Rodney was honored as a man of God that I believe he is. His brother, Charles Rodney Sr. from Maryland, closed with some flashbacks about their life together. His humor, along with his genuine love for his bother, was a fitting end to a beautiful service.  

Being in attendance was indeed a blessing to me. I was also impressed with the dress of the parishioners.  They were all dressed respectfully in God’s house.     

The program included the following quote: “I am only one, and I cannot do everything, but because I am one, I can do something, and what I can do by the Grace of God, I will do.”  – Canon Farrar

Father Rodney is a man who I believe does just that.

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