The Feast of Phillip and James is also the Feast Day of all the Phillips and James’s who bore those names in later times. You might think back over other James’s and Phillip you have remembered for their saintly lives. I’ll do that.
I treasure the memory of Father James Kielt, the rector of the seminary where I spent six years from my ages seventeen to twenty-three. He was saintly in being most reasonable. Over and over I heard him say, “Why yes, that sounds reasonable,” or “No, Tom, that would not be reasonable.” Jim gave us a monthly talk on practical things, like answering letters, and putting up with boring people.
Oddly, the word I most associate with James Kielt is “Dissipation.” He believed in having a good time, but to overdo it would lead to a disgusting state of “dissipation.”
My most memorable Phillip is another priest, Phil Crosby; and what marked him as special was the need he felt to help anyone in need.
When the Reds invaded South Korea in June of 1950, Phil had plenty of time to get away, but feeling he might be needed, he let himself be captured. The American soldiers on a death march with Phil remember leaning on him to avoid falling behind to be shot.