But that generation died out, my father got older and less inclined to travel; I grew up. Over time the call to serve God as a priest in the Church became clear (I’ve often wondered if it isn’t genetic) and eventually I was ordained. I inherited many of my great-grandfather’s prayer books. And I developed a desire to get to know more about him and become familiar with the five churches he founded during his time in that mountain region that surrounds Franklin, where he was based and where my father and his brothers grew up.
Hence our recent journey south from our home in Chicago. We saw five churches in three days, visited with rectors and church members, and enjoyed beautiful weather, gorgeous colors, and stunning scenery. We found the graves of many of my relatives (one of which is shown below). All Souls’ Day seems the appropriate time to begin these reflections on my heritage and its influence on my life and vocation. I invite you to join me!