From a school in Copper Valley, to a legacy of thousands.
As the story goes a group of Jesuits and some of their Sister friends went to Copper Valley to open a school for Native Alaskan children.
Almost 60 years later the legacy continues to make a world of difference.
One of the Jesuits from that Copper Valley School decided to walk to Bethlehem in the name of peace.
He and his fellow pilgrims arrived in Jesus’ birthplace on Christmas Eve, or so the legend goes.
(Did you think I meant the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania? So do most people when they hear this story)
That same Jesuit joined me in a buffet line one spring in Seattle and invited me (and my community) to a meal at the local Jesuit residence.
Just like people do every day, except this was only the 2nd time I’ve crossed paths with this Jesuit. Typically this kind of gesture, although nice, would seem odd to me.
Except for the fact that this Jesuit seemed to possess a level of generosity and kindness of spirit that I hadn’t encountered before, and haven’t since. I knew he meant it.
This kind Jesuit with a boundless spirit and unforgettable sense of humor has touched many, a goal many reach for but very few achieve.
People thought he was nuts. I’m sure there were times he though his own ideas were nuts too. But he went for them anyway.
I laugh to myself whenever I wonder if I’m about to embark on something people think is nuts. Jack would probably be one of those people too, the only difference is, He’d tell you you’re nuts with a smile on his face, then tell you to go for it.
What the Lord can do with a restless spirit is truly amazing, and only something the Lord can do.
I have been truly blessed by his example.
Father Jack Morris S.J.
“Our human task, if you like, is to not flee from the ill-being but to transform it.”
–Jack Morris, June 2012
*A similar version of this post was written on October 8, 2012 & October 22, 2014