Soon after I came to the parish, I met our founding pastor, Fr. Louis Knight. His reputation proceeded him. He was a powerful presence and legendary stories of his vast intellect and stony personality surrounded him. Intimidated, I did my best to avoid him. But the parish was small then and he had a keen eye for strangers in the midst. We came face-to-face one evening after a religious education class. “Who are you?” he asked. Taken aback, I simply answered, “A teacher and seeker.” He smiled shyly and wanted to know more. That was the beginning of a series of talks we had about God and faith. Later, he asked me if I would consider joining the parish staff. I was incredulous and refused politely. But he was persistent and persuasive. Eventually, I left my beloved teaching position at Saddleback College to forge a new path. Out of the blue, my mission in life radically changed because of one priest who took a chance on a seeker. Underneath the gruff exterior was a loving, compassionate and prophetic Christ figure who changed lots of lives, not just mine.

by DC