Even though I’m serious about promoting vocations to religious life, I’ll have to admit that sometimes I like to play practical jokes.

One day, while I was working at the Institute on Religious Life, the phone rang. The voice was soft and yet intense. Yet to the secretary,  the caller’s identity was unmistakable.

“Yes, Fr. Hardon, how can we help you?”

“I just wanted to say, you are doing such a great job there at the Institute,” the voice said.

The secretary was very thankful and respective. After all, Fr. Hardon was the saintly priest with the stained-glass voice. The author of dozens of books, a top theologian and adviser to St. John Paul II and St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Imagine – getting a phone call from Fr. Hardon himself!

Fr. John Hardon or not, I like a practical joke now and then.Fr. John Hardon or not, I like a practical joke now and then.

Of course, it was not Fr. Hardon. It was me. I broke character and told them that it was I, not the saintly priest. Of course, I didn’t break the news until I had complimented the fine work of me, their office manager.

The ladies burst out in laughter.

A religious community comments about Fr. Hardon

Fr. Hardon of course is the founder of the IRL, which supports religious life. It’s no surprise that his many lectures and courses were given to priests, sisters, brothers and friars. One of the communities, the Handmaids of the Precious Blood, with whom he worked, wrote to us recently and said of Fr. Hardon,

“He’s still influencing our community long after his years as our spiritual guide for decades. What a rock for American religious communities he was! We are praying his cause will move along and the same Sisters who knew him can live to see his beatification someday.”

You can catch up with Fr. John Hardon and religious life by going to the many articles by this great Jesuit. On the recordings, his deep voice carries the same charm as it did years before. Visit the Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. Guild and Archive. Also, check out the Real Presence website, which was built to carry his articles and recordings.

And if you call me, I can parrot Fr. Hardon’s voice that will make you think you were back in the lecture hall.


See a rare photo of Fr. John Hardon and an article about him on the Handmaids’ website, A Man Named John, Sent by God.

And speaking of the IRL, check out our article about the 2017 National Meeting they held in Mundelein, IL last year. This meeting was one of Fr. John Hardon’s favorites.