Desmond O’Grady is a Jesuit priest who served in many prominent positions throughout Ireland. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He shares what living with the disease has taught him and how it has changed the way he lives life.

There may well come a time, the one I dread, you know, when I won’t know you’re Pat. I won’t recognize that I’ve met you before. And that, I know, with my sister, not know, that to me…I just so love being with people and doing things with people and I’ve been uplifted by people, that the thought that all that could be gone, that brings, as you can see, tears to my eyes. Yeah, I suppose I could say I trust in God, and that is true, but there is also with me just a sense of, ‘Live the life you’ve got,’ and I will live it as best I can as long as I’m given the life to live. And I’ve lived through difficulties, as I was telling you about my childhood experiences. Alzheimer’s dementia now. Failure in work at various things. I’ve set out on a few projects and then said, ‘I’m not up to this.’ Failures in relationships. And they’re all sad and hurtful, but there’s much more to life than all of those. A lot of these, certainly, relationship failures we’ve mended. They’re the ones I want to mend. I don’t like it go away. And even where I can’t mend it with the other person, I mend it in myself. I know I just keep wishing them well.

MORE STORIES

Leah Chase

WorkOne time, not too long ago, a food critic came through here. And boy, I was four beans—and four beans is a good rating for a restaurant in New Orleans. She took me down to one. I mean, she just tore me to pieces.

VIEW THIS STORY

Rev. Patrick Render, CSV

StruggleAfter 25 years in the priesthood, Fr. Patrick Render was given time for a sabbatical to discern the future direction for his life. He shares some of the wisdom he gained during that time.

VIEW THIS STORY

Basil Brave Heart

HopeHere’s another time my grandmother taught me about forgiveness. We used to go out and pick cherries and plums. Before we started picking the fruit, she would take a little bread and some dried meat, and we would go sit down on the canvas, and then she’d make a prayer: ‘These plums are our relatives, and we’re going to pick them in a very careful, kind, and sacred way. I don’t want anyone to break any branches. We’re going to take what we need and leave some for someone else.’ That’s an ecological, spiritual way of living. So, everything was spiritual.

VIEW THIS STORY

Leah Chase

HopeLeah Chase, the famed New Orleans chef and inspiration for a classic children’s animated movie, has fed musicians, Presidents, and countless visitors in her restaurant Dooky Chase’s. In this audio clip, she discusses how she prays.

VIEW THIS STORY

Constance Caruso

WorkIt is never too late to become who you might have been. I was tomorrow’s woman in the 1950s, and I didn’t fit. I was in a job that didn’t fit me because they wouldn’t pay attention that there was somebody in here. I had no sense of my capability. So, I lived each day in agony, but that pain was good—it’s the fire that turns us into something we could become. We grow by fire.

VIEW THIS STORY

Desmond O’Grady, SJ

HopeDesmond O’Grady is a Jesuit priest who served in many prominent positions throughout Ireland. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He shares what living with the disease has taught him and how it has changed the way he lives life.

VIEW THIS STORY