The venerable New York Times ran an excellent story on the pending retirement of Father John C. Flynn, an 80-year-old Roman Catholic priest with bright blue eyes and thick white hair. Father Flynn was ordained in 1955 and worked in the 1960s and ’70s at the Church of St. Raymond’s in Parkchester, in what was then a largely Irish neighborhood in the Bronx. As he tells the story, he wanted to integrate the church with black and Hispanic parishioners, but faced resistance.
Finally, a church official said to him, “If you love them so much, why don’t you go live with them?”
“And so,” Father Flynn said, recalling the scene from his spartan office, “I did.”
“I love my life,” Flynn said afterward. He is retiring somewhat begrudgingly, though he is looking forward to playing more golf. He has played a standing game with other priests every Monday for years.
He has promised that he will return to the neighborhood often.
“I have a lot to do,” Father Flynn said. “But I don’t have much time to do it.”
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