Nicholas Gilroy. Our Lady and the Guardian. By Father Stephen and Deacon George. Bloomington, Indiana: Archway Publishing, 2017. Paperback, 112 pages. $11.99.
Veteran teachers and members of the Regina Literary Guild, Father Stephen and Deacon George offer a delightful story about a very young man who enters Saint Peter’s High School Seminary.
Nicholas Gilroy seeks God’s wise will. He believes that the Lord desires that he become a priest. Therefore, with confidence in Him and His Holy Mother, the fourteen-year-old leaves his loving family to embrace the life of a seminarian.
Along the way, as one would expect, Nicholas meets various persons and challenges, but also many joys! With uncommon trust in Jesus, he perseveres and completes his freshman year in the Seminary.
The reader will note the lasting friendships that develop between Nicholas and the other seminarians, the paternal encouragement of the Rector, the discipline established by the Vice Rector, the demanding classes that broaden the horizons of these prospective priests, the fun that the seminarians have together, including on the football field, and the generous spirit displayed by them in providing food and lodging for some of the poor and in traveling to the inner city to assist grade school students after-school.
It is within the context of the after-school program that Nicholas learns about violence in society. Although he is scarred by the incomprehensible attack on human life that he witnessed, he remains grateful for the privilege to tutor a minority student, cherishing it as a golden opportunity to share Jesus Christ.
The account of Nicholas repeatedly returns to the beautiful Chapel of Saint Peter’s High School Seminary. It is there that he and his brother seminarians receive the divine grace necessary to walk the path of discernment that, for some men, leads to the Altar of God. His love for the Most Blessed Sacrament—whether in Mass or during Eucharistic Adoration—and his veneration of Our Blessed Lady are palpable.
This volume would make an excellent gift for junior high school and high school boys who wonder what the Holy Spirit wants of them. It is readable, inspiring and informative. Catholic schools and parish religious education programs would do well to make this work available to parents, students and instructors.