Seems like I'm a roll, and not a good one either. Just came across a notice that Bishop Crittendon, the former Bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania passed away back in September. He was 95. More importantly in my own walk of faith in my teen years he was "my" bishop. We didn't even live in that diocese at the time but he was the bishop that I cared about and looked to as I grew up.
We had lived in that diocese for a couple of years when I was in elementary school. We made some friends and a few years later my mom was asked to serve as camp nurse for the diocesan camp. We lived in the Diocese of Pittsburgh at the time but that was fine with everyone. Soon I and both my brothers were attending that camp and we eventually all worked for the camp as well. It was during that time that I came to know "The Bish". Bishop Crittendon would show up and spend part of a day with us. Most importantly he would talk with us and answer our questions. For that short period of time he was all ours and he remained ours in our hearts for years to come. The Bish confirmed both of my brothers at camp with me serving as his acolyte. We were a sight. He was in his full episcopal regalia. My brothers and I were in cutoff shorts wearing brightly colored shirts from South America. They were the nicest clothes we had at camp!
After I took my job as youth missioner my thoughts turned to my first Bishop. So I wrote him a short note thanking him for his part in setting me on the road that led me to where I find myself today. I got a nice note back from him. In the end I hope I never let the Bish down. I'll miss him always.