“I’m not backing down now.”

This past Thursday I had the opportunity to return to my grad school for some official diocesan business. While I was there I attended a school Mass led by Fr. Dennis Logue, an 84-year old diocesan priest who is still taking continuing education classes at the school.

Fr. Logue is a chaplain at a St. Louis soup kitchen and lives on the city’s north side. During his homily he explained how the north side has declined in recent years. But, even at 84, he declared that is “not backing down now.” Even in the midst of widespread poverty and crime he still sees it as his duty to minister to those around him — especially as he takes his daily walk around a local park. Fr. Logue challenged us to “proclaim the Gospel we believe in” and “live a Eucharistic life every day.”

This was, as they say, the right homily for me at the right time. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now and have been feeling a little overwhelmed. But I’m taking “I’m not backing down now” as my marching orders from God for the next few months. Onward, Christian soldiers!