A Good Priest
There will be attributes which will define the greatness of one of the most beloved Cardinals that New York ever had.
I would like to remember John O’Connor with the same definition that he liked the most: a good priest. That is, in fact, what will be inscribed on his tombstone as his epitaph.
His humility always touched me deeply inside more than anything else. That alone was a sign of greatness which beautify his life and his dignity as a human being.
I would like to remember this good priest as the caretaker of a big garden in New York City with 2.4 million flowers. A huge variety of flowers with different colors, watered every day in order to be maintained fresh and perfumed. Different smelling flowers for different seasons of love.
I would like to remember this good priest as the caretaker of the less fortunate people in every sense of the word. He painted for them a rainbow of happy faces in the skylight of New York City and there has never been a sunset ever since in the capital of the world. He offered them a smile for every season of love.
I would like to remember this good priest as the disciple of Christ whose universal message of compassion, brotherhood and peace efficiently reached out to people of different faith during the perennial season of love.
I would like to remember this good priest for his good sense of humor. A gift from God through which he did teach us how to laugh. He also did teach us not to laugh when he was expressing his convictions as to the very serious issues of the Catholic Church during some seasons of Christian spirit’s decay.
I would, finally, like to remember this good priest, elevated to be a Cardinal, only because there are rules in the Roman Catholic Church. He was and always remained a priest at heart for everyone’s season of love.
However when he departed for a better life, God welcomed him before entering Heaven by telling him: "John, you have been a good priest. Heaven is your only place now."
VINCENT M. GAMBA