Thursday, April 11, 2013

Age and illness

     This morning I celebrated the funeral of a man from our parish who was less than a year older than I am.  He had lived a great life with family and friends but in more recent times illness overtook his usual life and things became much more difficult.  Awareness that he is now free of this limitation does not take away the sadness.  But as we stressed with his four young grandchildren, their Grandpap was now in heaven.  Pray for him, his name is Don Glenn.

     Yesterday on a message on FB I heard from the sister of a high school classmate of mine who is seriously ill.  He and his family have lived in Florida for years, and it is only recently that he has developed major problems  His sister tells me that he is weak and home bound at this time, and does not want much fuss.  He is my age, and when we were in high school he was a top athlete, a brain, and an all around good guy.  I saw him last a few years back at a Prep Reunion.  I am praying for him, and I ask you to say one for him as well.  His name is Denny.

     Today I also heard that a seminary classmate from Saint Francis who is a priest of the Pittsburgh Diocese was just diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease, with, as he told the people, a poor prognosis.  His name is Denny as well, and he will be celebrating his 40th Anniversary of Priesthood this May as well as having spent a multitude of years in the same parish (but with every expanding responsibilities).  I understand that there is an outpouring of prayer for Father Dennis from parishioners and friends, to which I ask that you join me.  He too is my age.

     And lastly for today, I have a good priest friend from our Diocese who is planning on retiring this Spring.  He is a few years older than me, but not yet of retirement age.  However he has heart health problems that keep him from giving his all to the people he serves.  This retirement will not come easy for him, so he, too, has my thoughts and prayers.  I ask for yours as well for Father Chet.

     With age comes wisdom and insight ... with age comes respect and dignity ... but with age we often confront challenges that seem overwhelming and tragic.  For Don, may he have eternal rest.  For Denny, may he find peace and strength.  For Father Dennis may he find affirmation, courage and love.  And for Father Chet, may he enjoy rest and relaxation.

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