In this form of ministry, funerals occur all too often. I have just returned from the funeral luncheon for a family that buried their Mom from our church earlier today. Buried this morning was Mary Cieslewicz, originally from Saint Pius in McKeesport (now Corpus Christi Parish), who had more recently been in a care facility in Dubois, PA. Mary's husband, Vince, died in 2010. One of her sons, Jeff, is a parishioner here and his wife Roseann is on staff, so they asked for the funeral to be celebrated here at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Another of Mary's sons is a priest of the Diocese of Erie (Father Vincent Cieslewicz, pastor of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary in Smethport, PA), and he celebrated and preached his Mom's funeral. It was beautiful.
Jeff is studying and preparing in the Diaconate Program of the Greensburg Diocese, and both of our deacons as well as a number of the men in the program were present. I concelebrated. It shows great fraternity among those preparing to embrace this ministry in the Church.
The other interesting thing is that Mary's husband, Vince, and my Dad were first cousins. Thus we are related. It is a small world.
I was honored to celebrate with this family, and to extend the hospitality of our great parish.
Another good lady and somewhat of an institution in our area was Madeleine DeLallo, who was also buried this morning from Ascension Church in Jeannette, PA. Mrs. DeLallo, along with her husband, founded a store and company that sells great foods, especially Italian. She was a hard worker and could usually be found in the store. She had a great love of the Church, and had a special fondness for nuns and priests. Her commitment to the Sisters of Ivrea in Mt. Pleasant, the Sisters of Mary Immaculate in Leechburg, our retired priests at the Neumann House in Greensburg, and her parish in Jeannete set her apart as an extraordinary woman. Pray for her eternal rest.
And the other extraordinary woman I want to mention today is still very much with us. She was my secretary at All Saints Parish in Masontown in the late '80s, and her name is Linda Rohol. Linda has a significant birthday this week (although she is still younger than me). I wish her well. She has worked at All Saints as Secretary/Bookkeeper under the following priests: Fathers Andrew Charnoki, yours truly, Jim Goldberg, John Sedlak, Ed Tacj, James Bump and now John Butler. Serving all of us and still retaining her sanity qualifies for sainthood. Happy Birthday, Linda.