“I am an ordinary man,” wrote Bishop Joseph Potocnak in the most recent issue of Dehonian Spirituality. “I know that is why God chose me to be a religious priest and bishop, so that anything that happened or will happen in my priesthood can’t be attributed to my goodness, but to the love and power of God.
“I will be a priest 50 years this year—39 years in South Africa. Many people touched my heart and life there, but I always recall one poor, old, dying Xhosa woman, whom I had the privilege to hold her hand and pray with before she passed away. Her relatives told me when she heard the church bells ring that Sunday, she said she wanted to be with Jesus.
“She was just waiting for the Father to come, so that she could go to Jesus. And she did. My whole priesthood was worth it to be with the poor, dying woman. She seemed to be unknown and insignificant, but she was precious to the Lord.
“None of us religious and priests is called because we are righteous. We are called because we are common folks. I worked in a factory, served in the Air Force as an enlisted man before entering religious life. St. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 1:27-29, ‘God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong… those who count for nothing… so that no human being might boast.’ God touches the hearts of people through those of us ‘who count for nothing.’”
Click here to subscribe to Dehonian Spirituality, a weekly e-newsletter of reflections and prayers based in the Dehonian charism.