Great Leaders Never Stop Following
We are blessed to have Fr. Simon Lobo, CC, with us in Rome. Fr. Simon is a wonderful young priest working as a campus Chaplain in the Archdiocese of Detroit. The bond between CCO and the Companions of the Cross (CC) is very strong. And all the more strong with Fr. Simon as his brother Jeremy is a missionary with CCO. Fr. Simon joined us for supper with the four Canadian Bishops that are serving as synod fathers. For the most part Fr. Simon sat quietly, very engaged in the conversation, but more reflective than active. The two times Fr. Simon spoke were very striking to me. Firstly, because of his insight and clarity of thought, and, secondly it was clear that the points he brought to the discussion were very dear to the heart of his founder Fr. Bob Bedard. Fr. Simon was being a true son of Fr. Bob. Experiences like this remind me of the Gospel interaction between Jesus and the Centurion (Matthew 8). I’ve always been struck by the way the centurion greets Jesus. “I can see that you are a man under authority …” Seems odd that this rugged Roman soldier would correlate Jesus’ power to heal and preach with being under authority. Wouldn’t it make more sense to say, I can see that you are a man with authority? Not from the Soldier’s perspective, “I too am a man under authority. I tell this man to go there and he goes. I tell that man to stay there and he stays.” The Centurion recognizes his authority as coming from Rome. The most powerful leaders live and lead under authority. I believe this principle can be applied in any field of leadership – business, government, military – but nowhere is this more true than in the area of ministry. Being true to the foundational charism of his community, Fr. Simon spoke humbly but with authority. Jesus said of his own ministry, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing.” The very best spiritual leaders are the ones that never stop following.