Sent Forth

End of the Year Message from Fr. Lampitt

When was the last time you blew out a dandelion?


I recently tapped into my inner child and gave it a whirl.  Only this time I watched intently to see which way the seeds would be taken and how quickly or slowly.  Surprisingly, some remained on the stem while others effortlessly drifted off on an adventure.


For the moment, forget that I just played a hand in spreading a weed that most of us work diligently to rid from our yards.  Instead, marvel with me at God’s plan to entrust to the forces of nature the spreading of these delicate seeds and how even some of them resist going forth.


By the time this newsletter has reached you, another class of Catholic Illini will have graduated and found themselves driven out into the world by the gust of the Holy Spirit.  Certainly, they themselves have played a large role in determining where they will land, but we mustn’t underestimate the guiding hand of providence.


And yet the temptation remains throughout life, as it did for those few stubborn seeds I mentioned, to hold on to what is comfortable and to remain in a place we have come to know as “home.”  But in those instances, we must remember the admonition of Jesus: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24).


And so that is the decision constantly put before us: To remain the same or to embrace “death” so as to experience even greater growth and the new life that comes with it.


Thankfully, many of our students become acquainted with this process while living with us at Newman Hall and/or participating in the sacraments, small groups, and retreats.  They learn to die to childhood tendencies or beliefs and begin in earnest the transition into adults with a mature faith, one that seeks God’s will and not simply their own.


In this way, they are able to do what you have done: to go forth from this wonderful Catholic Illini community on campus, taking with them a variety of new gifts.  Thus equipped, they are sure to bear fruit wherever they land.


I myself am now faced with a similar invitation.  While I have thoroughly enjoyed my seven years as Head Chaplain and Director of St. John’s Catholic Newman Center, the Holy Spirit is now inviting me to bear fruit in a new portion of God’s vineyard.  I simply ask for a remembrance in your prayers as I remember you all.


Fr. Robert Lampitt