"Praise God!" - In grateful remembrance of Fr. Will Prospero, S.J.Published by plangevin on September 13, 2014 - 1:01pm
As a former teacher and as a student, I have to admit – I have always looked forward to the beginning of the school year. The same is true now as a seminarian. While I had a great summer – spending six weeks in Guatemala working on my Spanish, attending a parish finance conference at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and visiting with family and friends – it was good to get back to studies and begin Third Theology.
This is an important year for our class, and is filled with interesting courses such as homiletics (preaching) and Deacon practicum in which we practice the various liturgical responsibilities of the deacon - all in anticipation, God willing, of ordination to the Transitional Deaconate next spring.
In the midst of the joy and excitement of the new academic year however, the Mount St. Mary Seminary community suffered a sad loss this week as our Assistant Spiritual Director, Fr. Will Prospero, S.J., lost his battle with an aggressive form of cancer. Fr. Prospero and I arrived at the Mount at the same time and I had the privilege to work with him for a year and a half as my Spiritual Director. A gifted spiritual director and teacher, Fr. Prospero contributed so much to our Seminary. He loved his vocation as both a Priest and member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the joy he exhibited in preaching the Gospel and evangelizing was infectious. The most profound lesson he taught us, however, came in the last year as he accepted, embraced and carried the cross of his illness and suffering. Just one month ago he wrote: "Never before has my awareness of the importance of faith, family, and friends been so acute. I actively look for opportunities to pray with others or talk about matters of faith; nothing is more fulfilling for me than evangelizing. What an amazing gift our faith is!"
Not only did he write movingly about the importance of faith, the support of loved ones and friends, but preached eloquently through his example of patient suffering. While we are all deeply saddened by his passing, we take tremendous comfort in knowing that he was well prepared to meet the Lord and in knowing that he will be able to do even more good interceding for the Church as well as for each of us in Heaven – as Father would always say: "Praise God"!
And so, I give praise and thanks to Almighty God for the gift of Fr. Prospero's life and witness – most of all for his example as a holy and joy-filled Priest of Jesus Christ! Please join me in praying for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family, Jesuit community and all who were touched by his life. Rest in peace, Father - May angels lead you into Paradise: may the Martyrs welcome you on your arrival, and guide you into the holy city of Jerusalem. May a choir of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, who once was poor, may you have eternal rest. Amen.