Saints We Love

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Open Letter to Archbishop Levada - as he left for Rome

Open Letter to Archbishop Levada

Dear Archbishop Levada,

You are a much-loved man of God, you are a much-loved Archbishop and you will be a much-loved Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  I know there are many who will sing this farewell love song to you, Archbishop Levada!

Tom, my husband, and I came into full communion in the Catholic Church in 2004.  You were our first Archbishop.   We are so grateful to God that you were here during this most important time in our lives.  You have been a gift from God for us.  We have worshiped at the Cathedral, which has meant that we have had the joy of experiencing worshiping with you on many occasions. Tom and I will always love you.

Although we have a wealth of memories, because of your presence at the Cathedral, here are a few things that will always stir our hearts as we remember you after you have gone to Rome. 

  • Your dignity, your softness and your love as we shook your hand and kissed your ring.
  • Your listening to us, and your caring, when we asked for your prayers during the process of the Tribunal. 
  • Seeing you stand, Archbishop Levada, at the Ambo speaking God's Truths boldly, in the name of His Son, while at the same time over your right shoulder the dome of the City Hall, sparkled in the sun, where God's truths were not recognized.   You were equal to the task!  You stood straight and tall – speaking of Holy Truths to your flock.   We were blessed to be sheep of His pasture, as you spoke!
  • Seeing you walk in the Procession the weeks you were present to celebrate the Mass--always honoring the Mother of God as you stopped, without fail, and bowed at Our Lady of Guadalupe--honoring the Son as you honored His Mother.
  • On Holy Thursday, after bringing the Blessed Sacrament to the Repository, your returning in your street clothes, sitting with all of us, praying, worshiping our Savior.   Because you sat by us, we experienced the joy of seeing you read from the same Magnificat we had with us for our prayers.   May I say, Archbishop Levada, you were just one of His sheep that night.  The Holy Father was about to be taken home the next week and your life was going to be changed forever. 
  • On Good Friday, kissing the feet of the Lord Jesus . . . one of us and one of His.
A friend from the Cathedral said recently after shaking your hand for the first time, "He has a firm handshake and I like that.  His hand has the feel of a laborer's hand: a longshoreman's hand, or, better yet, a fisherman's hand."

Thank you, Archbishop Levada, for answering the Call of God, for being who you are for Him and who you have been for us.


Pam (Rose) Beeler said...

Miss Terry -- this is so very precious. It made me weep. You have sent this directly to him ... right??

Terry Fenwick said...

Yes and it was in the Catholic San Francisco paper.

Terry Fenwick said...

We are blessed to have him there - we were blessed to have him here in SF

He was the only American to work on the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the then Cardinal Ratzinger, now our Pope Benedict XVI, who was the previous Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Terry Fenwick said...

Just read this again - thinking of San Francisco and how much has gone on and on and on - and how sad it is. I am so glad you liked it and said something. It really was my heart and probably one of the two best things I have ever written. You know the other . . .

Terry Fenwick said...

From Ann Flook

Dear Terry,

You so eloquently express your reverence, love and respect for Cardinal William J. Levada in this blog.

You and Tom were blessed to have Archbishop William Levada as your Shepherd as you were going through the process to become Catholic.

You describe a joyful, enthusiastic Archbishop, willing to sacrifice for his people. He had a rich prayer life, and was willing to share his relationship with God with his congregation. He showed you without words that God is available to all of us.

You speak to the hearts of many in thanking Cardinal William J. Levada for his service to you and the flock as Archbishop!
Thank you Terry! <3
Ann Flook