Loading
Ambassador Kmiec remembers Msgr. Sheridan as an inspiration to faith
Ambassador Douglas Kmiec
Ambassador Douglas Kmiec

.- The death of Malibu’s Msgr. John V. Sheridan after a serious car accident has prompted U.S. Ambassador to Malta Doug Kmiec to reflect upon the priest’s life and the nature of faith.

On Aug. 25 Kmiec was driving in California with his friends Sr. Mary Campbell and retired pastor Msgr. John Sheridan when they suffered a single-car accident. Sr. Campbell, 74, died at the scene, while the 94-year-old monsignor died early in the morning on Sept. 17 from heart failure.

Kmiec praised his confessor Msgr. Sheridan’s “magnificent life of priestly fullness” in a recent column in The Tidings, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Recounting a visit the day before he died, Kmiec said he “prayed into his ever kind, but then, physically pained eyes.”

“Those wonderful eyes that welcomed all and with every twinkle said ‘I understand; I am with you; nothing further is required; come walk in the beautiful hills at my side’.”

The ambassador saw “something distinctly proper and natural” in the scene of Msgr. Sheridan surrounded by surgeons:

“Here was the Monsignor surrounded by the most splendid minds in medicine holding forth by the sheer beauty and spiritual strength of his presence. The metaphorical portrait of Christ teaching on the mountain-top filled the room with the Holy Spirit in every respect.”

Kmiec said he entered the room and reached for the priest’s “gentle hand of kindness” which he had held immediately after the accident to pray the Rosary together.

While in his last weeks Msgr. Sheridan seemed to respond less by voice than by look, Kmiec thought the priest’s eyes did not ask why he himself was suffering, but rather sought to search for “the light of faith” in his onlooker’s eyes. His eyes did not presume to know God’s mind, but asked whether visitors still had “a believing heart.”

“I gave the great monsignor my ready affirmation, and as I did, it seemed as if his hand relaxed. Msgr. John's wit and intelligence towered over just about all, including myself, and his power of discernment of the truth was unsurpassed,” Kmiec wrote in The Tidings.

However, the ambassador confessed he was not sure whether his affirmation was without doubt.

“Forgive me, John, with so much of the present time occupied by horror and unbearable grief, I would be pretending if I said I grasped how this unneeded pain given to you is compatible with the idea of our being justified by a Savior whose own suffering is held forth in Holy Scripture as sufficient to redeem us all.”

This dilemma, to Kmiec’s mind, is “the crux of faith.”

He reported that Msgr. Sheridan recounted his first near-death experience at the age of 17 when County Longford doctors had given him up for dead.

At the age of 58, the priest wrote that death was “a source of radical frustration and loneliness.”

Wishing that he could eliminate this loneliness from those grieved by the priest’s death, Kmiec pledged:

“If the way to see your welcoming and smiling face again, my dear Msgr. John, is to banish all doubt, then whatever time remains for me to walk the Malibu hills or the ancient pathways of St. Paul in Malta is time happily dedicated to keeping the faith alive,” Kmiec’s essay concluded. “…all of us who knew John Virgilus Sheridan have known and felt intimately the Lord's saving goodness, and we yearn for it still. Msgr. John V. Sheridan, Requiescat in Pace. I love you.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Jul
24

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Gospel
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Homily
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/21/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: