There’s a common lament among people my age who have lost people close to them: “I wish I’d asked him or her about . . .” I had this reaction after my dad’s death as well as any number of our Community members and others. We regret that with the loss of our loved ones, we’ve also lost a layer of wisdom.
With our founder, St. Gaspar del Bufalo, we don’t have to worry about that as much. He left behind thousands of words in his letters and instructions to his new Community: words of encouragement, of prayer and praise, of admonishment and direction.
St. Gaspar spent much of his life in ministry on the road—even though he never left Italy, he was a true missionary—but he managed to keep in touch with his Community through a constant stream of correspondence. I envy his output! And I am grateful for it. Because of all those letters, we have an enduring picture of St. Gaspar as a committed, devoted, driven, inspirational leader who was concerned both with the big picture and every little detail.
Above all, he kept his Missionaries’ focus where it belonged. He continually urged them to rely on “the merits of the most precious Blood of Jesus Christ and you will accomplish great work.”
That’s true of us too. As we celebrate this feast day, let’s take a moment to thank God for sending us St. Gaspar, who gave his best to God no matter how challenging the task or how difficult the road ahead. It is an honor and a privilege to follow in his footsteps. Glory o the Blood of Jesus—now and forever!
Fraternally in the Precious Blood,
V. Rev. Larry J. Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S.