This evening, the students, faculty and staff of the Liturgical Institute went for a delightful dinner to celebrate the conclusion - and the successes - of the summer session.
I sat at table with Fr. Edward T. Oakes, S.J., Fr. Sameul F. Weber, O.S.B., and Fr. Robert Schoenstene (among others), three brilliant men in their own right and inspiring priests and preachers, faithful sons of holy Mother Church.
Throughout the evening, there were a number of occassions where all I could do was lean back in my chair and listen, in awe and wonder, to the great wealth of knowledge each of them contained, ranging from the obscure and magnificent in all things musical, liturgical, linguistic, doctrinal, and historical.
During my seminary studies I was privileged to have been taught by Fr. Oakes and Fr. Schoenstene, as well as many excellent learned and holy men and women. As I think back on the tremendous opportunities offered me by my studies here both at Mundelein Seminary and at the Liturgical Institute, I am deeply grateful to the Lord for his goodness and generosity. I have sat at the feet of a great many masters whom I greatly admire and whose love of the Lord and of learning I am honored to have received.
Jesus reminds us: "No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master" (Matthew 10:24-25). I hope one day to be only marginally as intelligent as they. That will be enough for me, Lord.
In the morning we will concelebrate Mass and then - in the words of Bilbo Baggins - bid each other "a very fond farewell," until we meet again.