My Friend, Father Michael Jordan
The following article was submitted to Courageous Priest by Father James Farfaglia. Father James has asked that Courageous Priest post the following tribute to Father Michael Jordan. Please pray for Father James’s friend, Father Michael, who was tragically killed on July 10th.
By: Father James Farfaglia
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) – A flurry of phone calls, text messages, emails and Facebook notices began to circulate early Tuesday morning, July 10. My friend Father Michael Jordan, SOLT was dead; killed in a tragic car accident on Interstate 37, near Pleasanton, Texas.
The incident occurred about 90 minutes away from his SOLT residence in Robstown, Texas on Monday evening as he was returning from a Mission Appeal in Nebraska.
His community wanted him to take a flight back to Texas in order to be early enough for the SOLT General Assembly which took place last week in Corpus Christi, but that would mean that Fr. Ed Roche, SOLT would have to drive back from the Mission Appeal by himself.
Father Mike refused to take the flight in order to help a fellow priest with the driving.
Father Michael Jordan’s entire priesthood was a life of magnanimity.
As one of the founders of the SOLT mission in Rapu-Rapu, a remote island off the coast of the Philippines, Father Mike would frequently receive word that a dying parishioner was in need of his help in the middle of the night.
Rapu-Rapu is a place of extreme poverty. Father did not have a car. Instead, he would walk three hours to reach the needy parishioner. He would hear the person’s confession, anoint him or her, and then walk three hours back to the mission only to be ready to celebrate the early morning Mass for his people.
Father Mike was always smiling and always filled with joy.
At the local abortion clinic, we would stand there on the sidewalk together many times. Despite the sad circumstances of so many girls going into the clinic, Father would always be filled with kindness, compassion and love.
He was passionate about his regular visits to the local area prison facilities, the care of the poor in Robstown and the elderly in the nursing homes. Characteristically he was late for his community events, simply because he would always stop to help an elderly priest confined to a wheelchair.
He was known for his long homilies, homilies that would last forty-five minutes. Father Mike was in love with Jesus, in love with the Church, in love with his priesthood and he had a deep zeal for the salvation of souls. Frequently, he would preach ardently against the great evils of abortion.
My favorite Father Mike story took place this past Good Friday. I invited Father to hear confessions at my parish. He started at Noon and continued until 7:00 PM.
He took one ten minute break for a glass of water.
One by one, people entered the confessional. Father was known as a gentle, but thorough confessor. He was always looking for conversions and he would always take the time to help his penitents grow in their relationship with the Lord.
At Noon, I led the Seven Last Words. At three o’clock, we sang the Divine Mercy Chaplet and then we celebrated the Solemn Good Friday Liturgy. After the Liturgy I also heard confessions, so between the two of us combined, we heard nine and half hours of confessions.
When we both finished at 7:00 PM, I figured Father Mike would be totally exhausted. Instead, I found him beaming from one ear to the other, filled with his characteristic joy.
Father Michael Jordan used to introduce himself to new audiences by saying that he was the real Michael Jordan, and he certainly was for real.
He was a real friend, but must importantly he was a great priest.