From Bulletproof Vest to Vestments
June 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Via the Deacon’s Bench comes this feel good story:
From Alaska comes this unusual story of a divorced father recently ordained a priest (shown below with his daughter):
It started out as just another routine day on patrol for Officer Steve Gallagher cruising the streets of Olympia, Wash. At an imposing 6’ 4” and 240 pounds, armed with a .45 caliber Heckler and Koch semiautomatic pistol, handcuffs and pepper spray, he was always ready to respond to the call. Like all cops, his goal at the end of his shift was to make it safely home, which for Steve meant being with the love of his life, his teenage daughter Molly. What would the call be on this particular day back in 2004? Shots fired? Burglary in progress? Domestic violence? Drug dealing?
Looking back at that event today, 58-year-old Father Steve Gallagher can’t even remember. That’s because the call he’ll never forget that day came from a higher authority, so to speak.
“One day I received an emergency call and was running lights and siren to it,” Gallagher recalled. “En route to the call the phone in my patrol car rang — it was Alaska calling.”
Gallagher answered, “Officer Gallagher.” It was not his dispatcher, but a priest from the Diocese of Juneau Alaska.
With sirens blaring, Gallagher politely but in a Joe-Friday-firm manner, asked the priest to call back in 20 minutes. The clergyman did as the cop requested and they discussed Gallagher’s inquiry about turning in his bullet proof vest for the vestments of a priest. Thus began the final leg of Gallagher’s response to the most important call of his life, the Catholic priesthood…
You can read the whole piece here.