There’s a story about three men who helped to build one of the great cathedrals in Europe. When asked what they did, the first described the mechanics of laying down the mortar, placing one brick atop another and setting the next brick beside it. The second described what he did as a step towards perhaps one day becoming a master builder on greater projects. The third simply replied, “I build cathedrals.” You see, through his explanation the first man saw what he did as a job, the second as a career, and the third saw what he did as a vocation.

Even before his 57 years as a priest, I’m sure that Fr. Jay also saw his life in terms of vocation: that call to holiness which each one of us – ordained, religious, married and otherwise – is given by God. The deep search that he made throughout his life – in his work, in his family; yes, even in the stubbornness that he carried with him, were clear indications of the thirst to satisfy that vocation, his own call to holiness.


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