Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV. celebrates not one but three milestones this month: his 85th birthday on Sunday, 50 years of priesthood and 60 years as a Viatorian. In reflecting on his journey since joining the Viatorians in 1963, Fr. Bolser crafted this reflection, which he called: A Journey of Life, Constantly Unfolding.

Fr. Bolser baptizes the child of a faculty member at Cristo Rey St. Martin.

“1963 was a very interesting year, leaving my job at the Post Office and beginning a new journey as a Viatorian. This journey has been an education about life, as well as the struggle for growth and possibility. I have learned that everyone is different; the diversity of Creation, always moving ahead; evolving. Each of us brings our own strengths and weaknesses to the whole as we struggle to become who we are meant to be, and to assist others along the way as others assist us.

“I have been honored to serve at baptisms, first communions, graduations, weddings and funerals. Today, I thoroughly enjoy meeting middle aged and elderly adults, whom I enjoyed getting to know when they were infants and teenagers, struggling to grow, and who are now enjoying their children and grandchildren.

“Lives are filled with joy and love; anxiety and pain, but most of all – wonder. To be able to stand on our little earth, on the edge of a massive universe that is constantly changing and growing is to stand in wonder at the beauty and miracle of life itself and to realize that we are all part of that journey.

Fr. Charles Bolser, top, with his brother, Robert, during formation in the 1960s

“It is sad to consider that so many stand in fear of life itself; of the diverse gifts that each person brings to the table, and to judge others in jealousy, as superior or inferior, and to refuse to walk with them.  At the same time, I have experienced in others great and overwhelming love and compassion.

“We walk together between the light and the dark; life and death. It is our faith that, together, we learn to walk as one creation, sharing life in all of its mystery.

“For the past 85 years, I have been privileged to fall in love with life, family, friends, Viatorians and people in so many ways, and to share our common journey, each sharing their joys and sorrows, the hopes and their fears, with LIFE!”