Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Best Friend and Everyone's Best Friend... Father Mike

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

Father Mike Jordan where he was most at home, South Bend Indiana, his birthplace,
squarely between Our Lady's Golden Dome and the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ.
His first smiling words to me at the moment of my reversion to Catholicism in 1998 were, "Take a seat at the table."  

His last smiling words to me at the moment of his departure from our home in Skidmore a few weeks back were, "I love you too."

My last communication to him (a Post-It note that I left on his windshield): Mission complete :)

His death two weeks ago is still too surreal to fully comprehend. I doubt if I will ever forget his kind, loving affirmation over these past thirteen years. He was the greatest big brother in the faith I could imagine, and this is no exaggeration. He was a great uncle to my kids too. So many stories, yet untold...like if we wanted to get him to laugh (and what a wonderful contagious laugh it was) Jen would mention the Wizard of Id's Dork of York funny and he would instantaneously lose it.  Childlike joy is his legacy.

Did Fr. Mike see himself as the Dork? Me thinks so.
Father Michael Edward Jordan was apt to remind those of us who served with him at the SOLT lay formation center in Santa Rosa Beach, FL that,  "You are not at the Ark of the Covenant, you are in the Ark of the Covenant."  He was a mystic whose humbleness and phlegmatic temperament hid this fact from most of the world. His gift was a deep abiding relationship with both Jesus and his mother Mary especially in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

What is it like to be in the Ark of the Covenant? Father Mike knew. You could almost see the mantle of the Blessed Mother enveloping him as he went about tirelessly serving the lowest and the least. The plight of the unborn was a particular cross for him to bear. And bear it he did. The word  anawim fits him to a T,  and what we know from the Sermon on the Mount is that the poor in spirit will inherit the kingdom of heaven.

PS. Father Mike really appreciated Famous Amos Chocolate Chip cookies.  I can see him in heaven now, at the mike with that famous three-fold running joke "Tasting, tasting, tasting."  

Enjoy good buddy, you deserve life in abundance.

Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

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