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All Year Long

When my oldest son was five years old, he received an electric train for Christmas.  As he played with his new train, I asked him what Santa could possibly bring him next year that could be better than this wonderful train?  He stopped playing with the train and looked at me and said, “I know exactly what Santa can bring me. . .I want a crucifix so that Jesus can be with me all year long.”

I was humbled and speechless.

I realized in that moment that my son was not focused on the materialism of Christmas like I was.  Instead, in his innocent answer, it was evident that Christmas meant more to him than gifts, toys, Santa, and trains.

I told the story to a family member and she wrapped the crucifix that was given to her as a wedding gift and gave it to my son on that Christmas Day.  As my son grew, so did his love for Christ.  He became fond of the prayer books, scripture readings, Bible studies, and reflections I would read.  He would ask if he too could read my books, studies, reflections, and prayers.

He read them daily while in high school, and sometimes I would hear him singing the Psalms in his room at night before bed.

My son is now a Catholic priest.

He was ordained in the summer of 2018.  He has taught me so much about Jesus since that one Christmas Day.

He continues to cherish the crucifix given to him and now as a priest is humbled that he can bring Jesus to others. . .”all year long.”

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Picture of Angie Elser

Angie Elser

Angie writes from Little Rock, Arkansas. She is the mother of six children and co-founder of the MOMMS (Mothers of Major and Minor Seminarians) Prayer watch for the Diocese of Little Rock.

3 thoughts on “All Year Long”

  1. We here at St. Paul in Pocahontas, feel that God send us a wonderful young man. You can tell when you talk to him that his heart is with Jesus. I told him one day that he was to young to be my sons and that I would just at him to my family as another Grandson. I do love him as a memeber of our Family. Thank you for sharing this story it makes him even more special. God Bless.

  2. Fr. Stephen is much loved by his parishioners at St. Paul, St. John and St. Joseph churches. We are grateful to you Angie for giving him to God and to us.


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