As we gathered for this Oblate spiritual exercise like we do every day, I realised that Fr John’s Oblate crucifix was placed in front of the altar. The crucifix was his silent companion from the day he made his final vows as an Oblate in 1957. During those thirty minutes my eyes kept travelling from the tabernacle to the crucifix as I was drawn to savour what is called in the Catholic Church Communion of Saints. It has nothing to do with sentimental remembering those who are gone but it is a powerful experience of unity in Jesus Christ.
With Fr John’s passing his crucifix now can be taken up by a new candidate who hears Jesus’ calling to be an Oblate. The man will have a powerful relic.