When I was growing up, my oldest brother, Jerry, was everything a mother and father would want in a son: intelligent, gentle, and respectful. I never saw him argue with my mom or dad. Never. Not even once.
It happened on a Friday evening in April of 1977, when I was 19-years-old. I was home from college for the weekend and after dinner, my mom brought out a cake she had baked for my youngest brother, Tony. There were 2 candles on the cake and it was time to sing Happy Birthday to the baby of the family. As usual, the candles were lit and the lights were turned off. Tony sat in mom’s lap while we sang to him. After Tony blew out the candles, someone turned on the lights to the dining room. It was then that we noticed mom was wiping away tears from her eyes.
The first time I ever heard the phrase “Academic Freedom” was when I was 22 years old. It happened in 1979, when I was a student at St. Louis University School of Law. I had no idea when I started law school that I was going to get a real “education” on how a Catholic university operated.
Last Monday I received a telephone call from a retired nun who reads my articles every week. I’ve known this particular nun for over 20 years. Even though she’s “retired,” she works harder than most people who are half her age. She’s a very holy and humble woman who cares greatly about the Catholic Church and the current state of humanity.