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The Narrow Way - Family Reflection Video

The Narrow Way - Family Reflection Video

Strengthening family unity

During these days of summer, many families assemble to pray, play, talk, and work together. These past two weeks, our Holy Cross family assembled all the Holy Cross Brothers and Priests of North America at the University of Notre Dame, about 350 of us, to renew our commitment to God and our friendship in Holy Cross. It was a wonderful time to renew old friendships and meet new younger brothers.  





After Notre Dame, several of us went to the Northern woods of Wisconsin and Michigan called Land O’ Lakes near the Great Lakes of Superior and Michigan. We got to fish, sometimes twice a day, pray together, socialize, and play cards in the evening. There are now fewer large-mouth bass and blue gills in those lakes after our time fishing.  


Today, Jesus calls us to revere and welcome holy things for God’s holy people. Make sure that we offer the Body and Blood of the Lord to those who are prepared to receive them worthily. Let us treat all with the respect and dignity they deserve as children of God. No child of God is excluded from God’s love and mercy. Let us choose Jesus’ narrow way of sacrificial love and humble service. 


Being in the North woods, close to Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes, reminded me of the epic poem set in the Great Lakes, Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha, in which he calls Lake Superior Gitche Gumee. Allow me to highlight the warmth in which Hiawatha and so many other indigenous peoples of the Americas embraced the truth, beauty, and goodness of the faith as priceless pearls:   


By the shores of Gitche Gumee,  

By the shining Big-Sea-Water,  

At the doorway of his wigwam,  

In the pleasant summer morning,  

Hiawatha stood and waited. 

All the air was full of freshness, 

All the earth was bright and joyous, 

And before him in the sunshine, 

Westward toward the neighboring forest… 


From the farthest realms of morning,  

Came the black-robe chief, the Prophet, 

He the priest of prayer, the pale-face, 

With his guides and his companions, 

And the noble Hiawatha,  

With his hands aloft extended, 

Held aloft in sign of welcome,  

Waited full of exultation, 

Till the Black-Robe chief, the Pale-face, 

With the cross upon his bosom, 

Landed on the sandy margin,  

Then the joyous Hiawatha,  

Cried aloud and spake in this wise, 

“Beautiful is the sun, O Strangers,  

When you come so far to see us! 

All our town in peace awaits you,  

All our doors stand open for you,  

You shall enter all our wigwams,  

For the heart’s right hand we give you… 


Henry Wordsworth Longfellow-The Song of Hiawatha-1955 

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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Wilfred J. Raymond, C.S.C. (Father Willy), a native of Old Town, Maine, is the eighth of 12 children. He joined the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1964 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a master’s in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. He served in ministry at Stonehill College (1979-1992), Holy Cross leadership (1994-2000), National Director of Family Theater Productions, Hollywood (2000-2014), and President of Holy Cross Family Ministries (2014-2022). In addition to English, he is conversant in French and Spanish. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.