Saturday, June 23, 2012

". . . the time you can begin being a Christian . . ."

Today is the third anniversary of the death of Father Thomas M. King, S.J., a teacher and spiritual father who likely needs little introduction to those who have been reading this blog for a while and have gotten to know something of my vocation story. As I reflect on Tom's continuing influence on my life, I find that this post written shortly after his passing still rings true in every respect. For a bit more, you may also consult this post penned last year for All Saints' Day.

For another kind of tribute to Father Tom King, take a look at this new YouTube channel featuring some of the sermons that he preached at the 11:15 pm Sunday Mass in Dahlgren Chapel at Georgetown. The above sermon on the Parable of the Two Sons (Mt. 21:28-32) should offer the uninitiated a good introduction to Father King's preaching; to hear more, go to YouTube. More importantly, I hope you'll join me in praying today in gratitude for the gift of Tom King's life and for his eternal happiness in the Heavenly Kingdom. AMDG.


At 6/24/2012 4:58 PM, Blogger Robin said...

I'm looking forward to listening to these. In fact, maybe I'll listen to one right now. In the meantime, knowing of your interest in art and architecture, I wonder whether you have visited Seattle University? I've started writing about my experience of the chapel there, and would love to read your own impressions if you've been there.

At 6/24/2012 8:09 PM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...


Thanks for the comment - I've never been to Seattle, but I hope to get there at some point. I did once post a link to an Oregon Jesuit's reflections on the art that Dora Nikolova Bittau produced for the chapel - here's my post on that:

I enjoyed your post on the windows at the Seattle U. Chapel and look forward to seeing more - I don't know what I would think of the place as a worship space, but it's a really fascinating building, and the different ways that Ignatian themes are integrated into the art and architecture of the place help to make it so.

At 6/26/2012 12:59 PM, Blogger Robin said...

I really enjoyed this homily.

At 6/26/2012 5:12 PM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...

Thank you, Robin. I think this homily is a good representation of Tom's style and gives some sense of why he was (and still is) such a beloved figure for many Georgetown alumni. I still miss him, but listening to his homilies is a comfort.

One thing I didn't mention in the original post is that every semester some students would produce a sort of 'greatest hits' tape (and later CD) of the best King homilies from that particular semester (they were all recorded live, so they had plenty to choose from). Copies would be sold (at cost, so not for profit) at the last Sunday Mass of the semester, and they typically sold out - some even bought extra copies and gave them as gifts! There was once talk of publishing some of them in book form - transcribed from the tapes, because Tom didn't preach from a text - but nothing every came of that; the book probably wouldn't have been a bestseller, but I'm sure that a few thousand 11:15ers from over the years would have snatched it up.

At 6/26/2012 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Joe,

I am a 1992 graduate of Georgetown College and was a friend of Fr. King. I was a regular at his 11:15 Sunday masses, lived down the hall from him in Copley one year and took his Teilhard course. My family was privileged to host him at our house for dinner not long before he died. I was privileged to attend his funeral. It's great to hear his voice again in the recording you posted. I think about Fr. King a lot and miss him very much. He had an enormous influence on my life. He would be very proud of you for your website.

Bob Lannan

At 6/27/2012 12:01 AM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...

Mr. Lannan,

Thank you for the comment - it's always good to hear from another 11:15 alumnus, and your kind words mean a lot. Fr. King had a great influence on my life as well - I'm sure I wouldn't be a Jesuit if not for his example, so I owe him a great deal. Prayers for you and your family,

Joe K sj


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