You don’t have to be a priest or a nun or a minister or a rabbi to make a difference in the world.
I thought I would share a reflection on the passing of a real “giant” in the world of the National Football League. Doug Buffone, who played for the Chicago Bears with Dick Butkus and the rest of the Monsters of the Midway, passed away this past Monday at the age of 70. He was an icon in the city of Chicago.
I met Doug through my brother Fr. Bob. Doug had such a great love and respect for Bob. He truly loved him. He respected him from the time Fr. Bob was Director of Athletics at De Paul University in the days when De Paul was number one in the country. Doug would have him on his TV sports talk show during football season and always had time for both of us.
The reason he was a “giant” in the world of sports was because of his love for the worker, the common man, the “little guy”. He had time for everyone. He was funny, passionate, caring and when he put his arm on your shoulder or gave you a hug, you knew how important you were to him. He had the quality of always being a welcoming friend. He played the game because he loved the game. He was loyal to his teammates. He was respectful of his opponents.
But he had such love for his family. His wife Dana and twin daughters have lost a treasure and so have we. He taught everyone who knew him the valuable lesson of making others feel important. I think that’s what Jesus did.
Doug would be embarrassed to read this. You don’t have to be a priest or a nun or a minister or a rabbi to make a difference in the world. Doug made a difference and he will be missed. I wish him rest. I thank God for his life and being able to know him and being called his friend. I pray for those who were very close to him, including in a special way my brother, Bob, who I know will miss him dearly. Rest well my friend, and enjoy the happiness the Lord has planned for you.