To offer us some protein, Miss Best was kind enough to drive us every week to sit in on the theology classes she was taking with Rev. John Hardon, S.J., at St. John's University. While the man was brilliant, the classes were dull -- based as they were on impenetrable phenomenological addresses by Pope John Paul II.
But I made the most of the question periods, probing that saintly priest with all the Faith-testing, Jesuitical questions that 16-year-old smart alecks are driven to ask. And Father Hardon parried them brilliantly, as Jesuits have done for centuries. He shot down in flames every doubt my personal Screwtape had whispered in my ear, and built up in my mind solid habits of faithful reasoning. I will be grateful to him in eternity, I hope.
When my high school friend (not I) expressed an interest in the priesthood, Father Hardon offered advice: "I wish that I could recommend you apply to the Society of Jesus," he said in his careful way. "I love the order, and wish it could be saved. But I cannot in good conscience send any young man into its seminaries."
Link (here) to Badger Catholic