Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Happy Birthday, Walt!

Today the Loyola House community celebrated the ninetieth birthday of our most accomplished yet humblest member, Father Walter L. Farrell, S.J. Now in his seventy-second year as a Jesuit, Walt has served the Society and the people of God as a teacher, writer, administrator and spiritual guide. Following a distinguished career that has included stints as rector of a Jesuit theologate, provincial superior of the Detroit Province and president of the United States Jesuit Conference, Walt currently works as treasurer of the Detroit Province (a job that has earned him the nickname "Walt the Vault") and resides here at Loyola House. Living with Walt has been a real highlight of my time in the novitiate. Through his prayerful celebration of the Eucharist and his eloquent homilies, through his thoughtful conversation and perceptive commentary, and through the example of his great generosity and simplicity of life, Walt is a great blessing to me and my fellow novices. I'll miss him dearly when I leave Loyola House, and I pray that novices to come will gain as much from his presence as I and my companions have these past couple years. I hope that we have blessed Walt as much as he has blessed us. Tonight at dinner we all wished Walt a happy birthday and thanked him for his presence among the novices. Though we'll never be able to repay him for all he has given us, for the rest of our lives we'll carry a sense of deep gratitude for his companionship. Happy birthday, Walt! AMDG.


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