Fr. Britto's Blog

Precious Life

Fr. Tom Enright was our neighbor. I got to know him when I came here to St Paul four years ago. He was not merely an acquaintance; he was my occasional spiritual guide and trusted confidant. When you are a priest and are used to hearing the confessions of others, you look for a wise, older priest who can elicit trust. He was that priest for me. I used to go to him for confession. He always gave me solid spiritual counsel and encouragement. He had been a pastor in two different parishes and had a lot of experience leading congregations. When I had a doubt or a question, I could always call on him. Over the last several years, he had been serving as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Ransom in Niles.

Last Friday he suddenly passed away. I had talked to him the previous Sunday. In fact, I had gone to him for confession. Probably most of you do not know that I have a pacemaker. Several years ago my cardiologist discovered that I had an electrical block in my heart. The only way to keep my heart ticking, he said, would be to insert a pacemaker that will provide the electrical pulses necessary to keep my heart pumping. After nine years, the battery was running out and the doctors had to put in a new one. My medical procedure took place at Lutheran last Monday. Whenever I have to get on an international flight or undergo a medical procedure, I like to go to confession – just to be on the safe side. Fr. Tom heard my confession and then gave me the anointing of the sick. I was deeply touched by his priestly ministry. He even called me on Wednesday to check on me and asked me about the procedure. He was such a caring man.

When one of our parishioners told me on Saturday evening that Fr. Tom had passed the previous day, the news shook me up. I have been thinking about him all these days. He certainly had some health issues. Yet his sudden passing makes me wonder about the precariousness of life. One moment we are here and the next moment we are gone. In our day to day life it is so easy to take our lives for granted. We somehow foolishly believe that we will be here forever. The medical procedure that I underwent also made me think along the same lines. Without this device inside me I don’t know whether my heart would keep beating. Every heartbeat is a gift for me.

If we all stop and think, we will realize that our life is a precious gift. Every breath, every heart beat, is a gift from our loving God. We need to develop a deep appreciation for the gift of life. Time is more valuable than money. It is through the use of our time on earth that we prepare for eternity. The time we have on this earth is limited. That is why we need to use carefully the time that God gives us.

Instead the world around us is ready to distract us in a million ways. You might have heard the news. The Chinese government is launching a 24-hour cable channel so that people can sit around the whole day watching Pandas play. It is so easy to lose ourselves in numerous trivial pursuits. We get sidetracked by so many sideshows that we can miss the main event.

The summer is almost coming to a close. This week our children will return to their classrooms. Our lives will revert to their normal routine. As we begin another year, can we all resolve to use our time well? Every new day that God gives us is an opportunity to do good for others, to love a little more and to draw a little closer to the Lord. Hopefully we can set some priorities. The amount of time we assign to something tells us how important that thing is for us. In what area of our lives shall we invest the majority of our time – our pursuit of holiness, our families, and our service to others?

St. Theresa of Avila, one of the women doctors of the Church, said, “Life is to live in such a way as not to be afraid to die.” Great saints knew what St. Theresa was talking about. They had no fear of death because they had lived well. With his characteristic humor, Mark Twain also said something wise: “Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Enjoy the last week of summer. I look forward to seeing all of you around our campus.

Who is Fr. Britto?

Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.

After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...

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St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

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Phone: (847) 825-7605
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7:30 a.m. - Upper Church
9 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
10:30 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
12 p.m. - Upper Church
5:30 p.m. - Upper Church

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6:25 a.m. - Upper Church
8:30 a.m. - Upper Church


8 a.m. - Upper Church
4:30 p.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel