The Legacy of an Old Friend

Posted By on May 5, 2015

“There are two kinds of men who can be called rational: those who serve God with their whole lives because they know Him, and those who seek God with their whole lives because they do not know Him.” – Paschal

Justin Leedy is a dear old friend of mine… I met him when he was in college at Gonzaga, in late 2007, early 2008, living a grandiose worldly life.  I was privileged to observe my friend Justin, with great grace, fortune, and dedication, remake his whole life in the consideration of spiritual things. On a similar journey myself, as always, I followed Justin’s impassioned advocacy right into the Catholic Church. He taught me how to say the rosary, and shared with me over the years the great bounty of his diligent prayer, and study of the saints, the desert fathers, Thomistic philosophy and Church teaching.

I have been, of course, on many ridiculous adventures, heavily in and out of different religions and spiritual practices. Even after coming into the Catholic Church, I left again to join the Hare Krishnas in my hungry search for discipline, austerity, and the tangible reality of the spiritual in everyday life. I was happy that Justin stayed solid, because when horrible, terrible, nightmarish things inevitably happened to me, he was able to point me to people–Catholic priests, in fact, to my curious awe and chagrin–that seemed to have extreme sorts of powers of healing, stability, and deliverance. I figured after some time of grief, conflict, and acceptance, that I was thoroughly, through the avenues of peace, provision, and love, being forced back to the Catholic Church, so I went. Not unhappily, though the challenges have been many.

Meanwhile Justin’s spiritual journey has continued faithfully… he was accepted to a Benedictine monastery in Norcia, Italy, and began to work nonstop to raise funds to pay off his student loans.

GOOD OL’ LEEDY! I’m very happy for him even though I hardly get to talk to him these days! I did get to see him on a week-long visit to Idaho last December, and meet his whole wonderful church family and sing in the choir at St. Joan of Arc. Justin is really involved over there, sings in the choir and the Men’s Schola, and also lives and works at the Imago Dei Institute of Psychotherapy, helping to put together formation programs, a farm, and other fun tasks.

If you would like to help him out or hear more of his story, you can do so through his website here.

In the meantime, have some silly pictures from our week-long trip in the summer of 2010 to the Benedictine sisters of Our Lady of the Rock on Shaw Island. We had a lot of fun playing with llamas and baby cows, chanting the Divine Office in Latin with the sisters in their beautiful chapel, pulling out our musical instruments (or voices) to jam at the guest house, and teaming up with the other guests to do farm projects and have meals together.

 

 

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