This morning, I heard of the passing of Sam Caldwell, a priest in our diocese. Sam was a gentle soul who served at my church Trinity in Reno for many years after his retirement as rector in Carson City.
He was a kind person who never took himself terribly seriously. I was in the choir for many years at Trinity before becoming a priest. Every Christmas Eve as we were preparing to process, Sam would tell the same joke to me privately. I suspect he told many others too. He'd come out of the sacristy splendid in his robes and cope, and lean over to me and mutter, "Years of seminary to be called Father, and here I am dressed as mother." He told the same joke every year, and I laughed every year. It didn't seem like Christmas Eve without Sam's joke. He left Trinity a number of years ago to go into retirement, but I still think of his gentle humor every Christmas Eve.
Rest in peace, Sam. Rise in glory!