Two articles on the passing of Father John Delclos, one in The Baltimore Sun, mentioned that he was an “emotional preacher.” In my opinion that can be misleading.
Father John spoke in a gentle, quiet, straightforward manner without any histrionics. His words went straight to the listeners’ hearts, residing only briefly in their heads, because instinctively the listeners knew these words emanated from the depths of his own heart. His being was steeped in Jesus Christ and fed by the word and the holy Eucharist. We listened to a person on a daily journey with his God, someone who was actually being transformed by grace and who was encouraging us to walk that same road. He never watered down the truth, nor the reality that being a Christian requires real effort, sometimes even suffering on our part. But we were assured that God would be with us.
So many felt his loss, even though they only heard him once or twice. Perhaps it was because we saw and heard in him, what Christ can really accomplish if we only let him in.
May Father John continue to remember us at the throne of grace. And may the “yearly mission” once again return to our parishes.