All is well with me. We at our priests retirement residence have remained careful and are generally well, God willing, free of the virus that threatens us all.
Today, by way of the Diocesan facebook page, many of us at Neumann House live streamed the funeral Mass of Father Donald Mondello, a long time retired priest whose funeral liturgy was limited by the restrictions of even this "yellow phase" of quarantine.
Later this afternoon we gathered in our chapel for our special Marian devotions which we are celebrating every Wednesday during May. Following the devotions, we gathered as a family for a brief social before a festive dinner in our larger, socially distanced dining room. The occasion was the recognition of the priesthood anniversaries of the thirteen men who reside here in retirement. Those anniversaries range from 44 years to 63 years ordained as priests … with a grand total of 640 years of priestly service represented. Imagine the people ministered to with mercy and compassion … the countless Masses, confessions and sacraments celebrated … and the impact of the faith shared with the local church and the larger community. May 5th was 47 years for me. Those years have gone by swiftly and have brought me great blessings and joy.
This year the Greensburg Diocese has one young man to be ordained to the priesthood - later in June. Pray for him and for an increase of priestly vocations.
There is an observation that is well known which I would like to share here. It is called:
WHO WILL REPLACE HIMIf a priest preaches over ten minutes, he's long winded.
If his sermon is short, he didn't prepare it.
If the parish funds are high, he's a businessman.
If he mentions money, he is money-mad.
If he visits his parishioners, he's nosing;
If he doesn't, he's being snobbish.
If he has fairs and bazaars, he's bleeding the people;
If he doesn't, there isn't any life in the parish.
If he takes time in confession to help and advise sinners,
he takes too long;
If he doesn't, he doesn't care.
If he celebrates the liturgy in a quiet voice, he's boring;
If he puts feeling into it, he's an actor.
If he starts Mass on time, his watch is fast.
If he starts late, he's holding up the people.
If he tries to lead the people in music, he's showing off;
If he doesn't, he doesn't care what Mass is like.
If he decorates the Church, he's wasting money;
If he doesn't, he's letting it run down.
If he's young, he's not experienced.
If he's old, he ought to retire.
But … if he dies ...
THERE MAY BE NO ONE TO REPLACE HIM.
Please pray for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life!