My second father figure is actually a toss-up between two people, but I will group them together because they are both the in the same occupation and are friends. My two father figures tonight are Father Dennis Wait and Father Mark Mertes. Both are Catholic priests and both are also great family friends of ours.
Father Dennis gives selflessly of himself and actually started a retreat center in the Kansas City area himself and is still the head of it. He is so sweet and always caring for others; he lives in the retreat center and helps the staff actually make meals and gives tours of it. He actually even had given my family and me a personal tour and just 2 days before my birthday one year as well. I have received so many hugs from this wonderful man, too! He also always has an ear to listen to you; give him a call and he’ll return your call as soon as he can. I also love his voice mail: “Be still and know that I am the LORD.” That greeting and that wonderful smile of his! Oh it’s so contagious and infectious! He and Father Mark also co-celebrated Daddy’s funeral. It was beautiful and amazing!
Father Mark, the younger of the two, reminds me of myself in many ways. He practically abandoned God in his earlier life and all but ran away from God in college, but finally returned to his faith and actually came around all because he joined the Peace Corps. I was so amazed at his knowledge of the Catechism and traditions. He also has an ear to listen and I also can appreciate his love for music. He often would play his guitar at the 5:00 pm Mass and make up songs to help others learn things (e.g., The Gifts of the Spirit). Father Mark also sang in our church choir. He held lots of retreats, seminars, and study groups. I took part in a lot of his events. Also, I was supposed to be his prayer partner for the Adoration chapel one year, but somehow I failed to ever go to it. I can’t remember why or how it happened I always forgot to go or never show up.
Anyway, those are my two father figures for tonight. I’ll try to write again tomorrow, but I make no promises.
Love and prayers, as always! ❤