A monthly series in Vincentian Voices that asks five random questions to an Eastern Province Priest or Brother. This month, we talk with Fr. Francis Sacks, CM. Fr. Sacks is an Associate Director at The Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia, PA.

What was your favorite course or subject in school and why?

My favorite high school subjects were science related, especially math and algebra. Later I was intrigued by a course in our Novitiate that dealt with symbolic logic. I suspect this reflects the need for order and logic in my life.

What movie have you seen the most times? Please explain.

In recent years I have been viewing streamed films. One of my favorite film series is Harry Potter. Some of the settings at Hogwart School of Magic bring to mind my experience in our St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary and College in Princeton. The scenes are reminiscent of the stone buildings created under the auspices of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal.

If you could ask St. Vincent de Paul one question, what is the question and why?

I would ask his reaction to our present direction toward “synodal Church” under the leadership of Pope Francis. I feel sure Vincent is very pleased with the emphasis on the role of laity (including women) in the governance of the Church.

Besides connecting with family and friends, what do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy photography. Currently I use my iPhone 7 camera. It takes very fine photos that rival the quality I had achieved with my semi-professional digital cameras. I have gotten rid of the latter. Some time ago I registered online for a very helpful digital course on the use of the iPhone camera. As an Associate Director at The Miraculous Medal Shrine, I created a series of videos explaining 153 religious images in our gorgeous Shrine. These videos remain available in a YouTube play list at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_DRBGqFHe5E4SHj-CbCZjyMIV_ZJufEL

If you could have dinner with one non-religious historical figure (dead or alive), who would it be and why? What might you ask them?

As far as a well-known historical figure, I would enjoy dining with Karl Rahner (with an English translator from his German) and discuss his take on the effect of Vatican II on developments during my lifetime in the Roman Catholic Church.

I would also like to meet my European ancestors to ask them about their experiences which eventually led to my grandparents emigrating to the USA. They lived in the region of Austria-Hungary in the Burgenland area north of Italy. I am told they were farmers. Maybe one of my ancestors was famous…