Alex C December 27 at 11:58am
I wanted to share a story with you.
I have known you for several years when you have spent time at QOP, Gainesville. I have come to admire you and Fr. Jeff tremendously. I think that it is your enthusiasm for being priests, and your love of God.
I took a class with you earlier this year, about stewardship. I bought a couple of books from you and I asked you to dedicate one to my father for his birthday. My father is a Marine and was very proud of it. I sent the book to my father as a birthday gift. I asked him to read it and I wrote him a note describing you and my reaction to this beautiful book you wrote.
My father sent me a note later in the year. I remember being shocked because it this day and age, who takes the time to write letters anymore. It was nice to see his written words on paper. This is the Note:
El Paso, Texas
March 31, 2009
Hi Ale! (my Dad calls me Ale)
What a treasure! Father Camarda’s book is a magnificent treasure indeed. It made my day, although reading it brought tears and a deep reflection into what is truly important in our lives compared to the tragic superficiality and the hedonism that seems to surround us today. Father Camarda homes in on what should be our most important preoccupation: our courageous encounter with the lord when we are called out of this world.
Imagine what this world (or rather) our society would be if more men (and here I mean, not just mere males) would read and be touched by “Tears in the Desert”?
I am very happy that you met Father Camarda, for I know that you, my son are a very good son with a strong and loving heart, kind, cheerful, child like, and a little crazy, and Fr. Camarda, the “Padre” can be an excellent mentor and spiritual director for you.
Please give him my thanks for dedicating his book to me, but most importantly for his awe inspiring service as a catholic Chaplin to our country and to the people of God- especially the ones whom he tenderly touched. Thank him for his dedication and work to the kingdom of God here on earth. May the Lady of Lourdes bless him and protect him always. And may she protect you always from harm.
Two weeks later I received an e-mail from him, which was beautifully written, concerning an episode I had earlier in the year I had, where I truly feel I had a conversation with God. (That is another story, and I am not crazy…) My father died suddenly this past may, and these were the last real communications I had with him. I have come to understand my fathers imperfections, and admire how everyday he strove to be a good man, in spite of them.
I pass on this message, with tears in my eyes, from him to you. And I ask you to pray for my mother, and my family.
If your ever in Gainesville, with some spare time, I would like to take you out to eat. Let me know.
God Bless you Padre,