(pronounced RoJAY) is an inspirational teacher at the
Catholic Institute of the West in Angers, France. In fact, our son
is named William Roger Jarvis after him. (As is natural with kids,
William hates his middle name and is not interested in where it comes
from.) Another reason the name sounded so good was its association
with Will Rogers, the famous Oklahoma humorist. My father often quoted
Will Rogers, especially his saying, I never met a man I didnt
like. That was also Fathers philosophy. Daddy told about
one time Will Rogers was granted an interview with President Calvin
CoolidgeSilent Cal, as he was known. He was the president who
never cracked a smile. After Will Rogers first shook Silent Cals
hand he edged up to him and said, Sorry I didnt catch
the name. Silent Cal automatically replied, Coolidge,
Calvin Coolidge, and then burst out laughing.
Back to France with Frère Roger. He first impressed me by opening
his seminar session with the question, Qui de vous sont créants?
(Who among you are believers?) A very innocent question, but how do
you answer it? Without hesitation, my wife Leticia put up her hand.
And you could see a bond form that moment between the two believers,
Leticia and Frère Roger. I hesitated just a moment before putting
up my hand. Of course, I considered myself a believer, but my beliefs
are more a matter of philosophy and less a matter of pure faith. And
all that subtlety of thought was revealed by my slight hesitation.
But what a good man Frère Roger is, a man who truly accepted
me. A man whose face opens his soul to you, a man whose smile makes
a lifetime impression of genuine warmth.