Born Christmas Day, 1922.
Called home Christmas Day, 2012.
For many years Fr. Bill Lynn, S.J., was a professor at the Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus, Ohio). More importantly, as my Mom's spiritual director, he's kept her generally sane (:) with all the drama associated with 7 children and over 40 grandchildren. Tim O'Neill (The O'Neill Brothers- music on NBC, CBS, HBO, PBS, ESPN, A&E...) and I began Keys2Heaven.com to invite people to share their inspiring stories of faith. Once a month we selected a story and Tim composed a beautiful, instrumental "soundtrack" inspired by the respective story. The resulting project was "Songs of Faith: 12 Songs Inspired by You."
Fr. Lynn just happened to have the most moving story for Christmas. After reading it you'll see why.
Most Memorable Christmas
by Fr. Bill Lynn, S.J.
May I tell you of the happiest and most memorable Christmas I have ever had? It was in 1932 when I celebrated my tenth birthday (I was born on Dec. 25, 1922). My Dad, Eddie, my older brother, and I were living in the basement of a boarding house at 127 C Street S.E., just two blocks from the Capitol in Washington D.C.
Dad had set up and decorated the tree after I had gone to bed. When I woke up that Christmas morning I rushed to the Christmas tree to see what presents I might have received. But as I looked and searched I was puzzled and did not know what to think. All I saw beneath the tree was a tiny brown paper bag, in which I found five tiny pieces of penny candy.
I began slowly to eat the candy, while I waited, thinking that Dad, who was in the kitchen, would now bring in the big present I dreamed of. I waited, and then looked toward the kitchen where I could see Dad seated at the kitchen table, his head buried in his hands. I did not understand what the depression meant or what it meant that Dad was out of work. I could see he was very sad, and I knew it was because he could not afford to give me anything else.
So I got up off the floor, went into the kitchen and sat on Dad’s lap, put my arms around his neck and, holding back my tears of disappointment, said as convincingly as I could, “Dad, this is the best Christmas I have ever had.” He hugged me tight and said, “Thank you, son.” To my own surprise, those words did make it the best and happiest and most memorable Christmas I have ever had.
Beyond words, thank you Fr. Bill. You remain with us, pave the way for us... we eagerly anticipate the day of our reunion. We pray that your soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through God's abundant mercy, rest in peace. Christ's Mass blessings!
Tim tells me that of the nearly 30 CD's they've recorded, this is his favorite. It really is beautiful. Please consider going HERE to preview the music and corresponding stories. For a short time you can purchase 10 CD's for only $67.00 (that's under $7/each!)- beautifully packaged with the corresponding booklet of stories! Proceeds are directed toward this family movement. Thank you, and God bless!
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