Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Feast of St. Joseph

Today, March 19, is the Feast of St. Joseph.

This feast has much meaning for my wife, Frankie, and me. In the weeks following the death of her father (Joseph Alexander Dickerson, Jr.), we discovered, among his personal items, a St. Christopher medal, inscribed “Bishop Choi to JD.” It is our understanding that the bishop gave St. Christopher medals to pilots in the Pacific during World War II. Soon after the war, Joe, a pilot, joined the ROTC faculty at Fordham University. Impressed by the Jesuits there including the seriousness of their faith, Joe wanted to become Catholic, but my mother-in-law discouraged him. For she told Joe that his parents would be devastated if he were to join the Catholic Church. So, Joe acquiesced to his wife and, and as far as we know, never made a Christian commitment of any sort, though, ironically, he lived the Christian virtues better than most Christians. This is why when Frankie was received into the Catholic Church on August 18, 2007, she took the name "Joseph" as her Confirmation name, in honor of her father and his unfulfilled desire to become Catholic. For her confirmation gift I bought Frankie a St. Christopher medal with this inscription on the back, “From JAD to FRD.”

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