Posted October 05, 2009:
The Father’s Blessing

by Albert Osterberger and his father.

The blessing of a father on one’s vocational choice is a great gift. In fact, without it, entering into one’s vocation is considerably more difficult. In the following letter from his father, Albert was given this gift.

August 26, 1958

My Dear Son,

Mother and I enjoyed talking with you last night. It was wonderful to visit with you over the phone.

Glad to know you are well and know you’ll be busy the balance of this week checking out at G.E. (General Electric Company), packing, and getting off to Canada. Drive carefully over this Labor Day Weekend. I’m sure that the roads will be crowded.

You may rest assured that both Mother and I are happy over your general decision to become a religious. Our hopes and prayers are that God will give you the guidance so essential to making the right decision as to the specific field you will finally decide to enter.

My own personal hopes—further hope is that you will have the full opportunity to utilize your good education to the best advantage in carrying out God’s wishes and his work. I know you will weigh carefully all of the facets in arriving at a final decision, and once you reach the decision, it will be the right one.

We’d like you to drop us a line every once in a while—more frequently than in the past—if possible. We are vitally interested in you, your future, and your happiness in your chosen vocation.

With all our love and devotion, and may God bless you, guide you, and keep you.


As director general of laymen in Madonna House, Albert in turn gave the father’s blessing to the men joining our apostolate. Even when he was not director general, he sometimes gave it to other members of the community, both men and women, who had not received it from their own fathers.

April 14, 2003

Dear _____,

Received your letter requesting permission to make your First Promises.

I have seen you grow more and more one with us in our Nazareth life of peace and love, simple humble service to our guests and our brothers and sisters and to all who are touched by our lives.

So I am happy to accept your promises and to place that cross of peace and love around your neck. And with that will come the blessings and graces to strengthen you and to touch your every need in order to persevere with God’s perfect loving plan for you all the days of your life.

Love and prayers in Christ and Our Lady of Combermere,
Albert Osterberger


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