Showing posts from 2014

Magdalene Parker Mileski

On 15 May 2007 I preached at the Mass of Christian Burial for Magdalene Parker Mileksi, one of the most extraordinary teachers to shape my life. Here is the text of my homily ...                                                             Silas Marner . This, of course, is the title of George Eliot’s classic novel about loss and gain, hatred and love, sin and redemption. But for generations of Maggie Mileski’s students, it is also a byword. For us the name Silas Marner stands for terror in the classroom, for our cold indifference towards literature transformed into reverence for learning, and for Mrs. Mileski’s own disciplined learning ordered to cultivating wisdom in us. But only a gifted teacher could bring about such a change in sullen adolescents, and what a gifted teacher she was. It is thirty years this August since I became Maggie’s student, and in those days I was an atheist who dreamed of being a physicist. I thought that reading Silas Marner and all the rest was