Read: "How Father Hudgins taught me to bow at Jesus' Name" by Lisa Kutas, Chief of Staff, Diocese of Lansing


Read: “How Father Hudgins taught me to bow at Jesus’ Name” by Lisa Kutas, Chief of Staff, Diocese of Lansing

Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Upon this day last year, the Diocese of Lansing’s Father David Hudgins was killed in a fatal road accident. May he rest in peace. Upon his anniversary, Father Hudgin’s good friend and work colleague, Lisa Kutas, now recalls how he taught her to show greater reverence for Christ by adopting the pious custom of bowing one’s head at the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Lisa writes:

“When I first started working for the Diocese of Lansing as the HR Director over a decade ago, daily Mass became a part of my routine. Everything we do to serve the parishes and schools in our diocese is rooted in prayer, hence noon Mass at Saint Mary Cathedral was a staple of my workday.”

“As I immersed myself in the simple beauty of the daily Mass, I noticed something that I’d never paid attention to before: every time the priest said the name of Jesus, he bowed his head. I started to notice that several of my co-workers, men who had once been seminarians, also did the same. I surmised that it was a lovely gesture reserved to the ordained and those who had studied in the seminary. Until Father David Hudgins set me straight.”

“I don’t recall the exact year, but it must have been 2020 or 2021 because he was only saying daily Mass at the Cathedral for the past few years, Father David gave a homily on a January 3, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus that was memorable. He passionately quoted Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, teaching us that only through the name of Jesus are we saved.”

“I wish I could remember everything he said, but I vividly remember him inviting all of the faithful to bow their heads at the name of Jesus. He explained that the priest bows his head at the name of Jesus during the liturgy but, also, that we are all invited to make this holy gesture which is an external way of acknowledging the saving power of His name.”

“From that day on I incorporated the practice into my prayer life and when I participated in the sacred liturgy. I’ve also taught my daughters about his practice and they also bow their heads at the name of Jesus.”

“Upon this day last year, January 3, 2022, I drove in to work and was looking forward to hearing another wonderful homily at Saint Mary Cathedral from my friend Father David Hudgins. As we all waited in the Cathedral for Mass to start, it became obvious that Father David was late. Another co-worker and I texted him but received no response. Deacon Jim Kasprzak held a Communion Service for those of us there since there was no priest available to celebrate the liturgy.”

“When I got back to my office I received the horrible news that Father David had been killed in a car accident earlier that morning. The tragic and unexpected loss of my dear friend shook me to my core. It was a day or two later before I realized that he had been taken back to the Father on the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, a feast day that he was passionate about.”

“I miss Father David’s brilliant mind, his quick wit, and his pastoral heart every day. But I take solace in knowing that he is with our Lord Jesus, and I’m sure bowing humbly before Him in eternal worship.”

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