Saturday, February 27, 2016

Three times blessed

     In recent weeks the faithful of the Diocese of Greensburg have had the opportunity to mourn the passing and celebrate the ministry of three servants of God who have touched their lives.

     Most recently was the death of Sister of Charity Sister Mary Helen Meyer, SC, who died on February 25th at the age of 95 at the Motherhouse in Greensburg.  Her funeral will be this coming week.  Sister Mary Helen entered the community in 1939 and served in a number of roles of service, most notably as a teacher.  Countless youngsters who passed through our own Greensburg Central Catholic High School were impacted by her in her long career as biology and chemistry teacher from 1967 until 2012.  I have known her for many years and found her to be a caring woman of faith who was always kind and generous with her time.  She saw her Religious Life as an "invitation to service" that she readily accepted.  She will be missed and most importantly remembered by her family, her students and her friends.

     Our brothers at Saint Vincent Archabbey recently buried their confrere Benedictine Father Justin Withrow.  He died unexpectedly on February 3rd at the Archabbey at the age of 60.  He made his solemn profession in 1988 and was ordained in June of 1990.  He served in a number of capacities in the community and in their parishes, but was known for his service as hospital chaplain at hospitals in Jeannette, Greensburg and Latrobe since 1995.  Over that time he ministered to people in their greatest moment of need and ministered as well to countless families.  As Archabbot Douglas Nowicki noted in his obit, he was known for his "kindness and compassion", traits that will be sorely missed in coming days.  Father Justin was always kind and outgoing.  

     And word reached us of the death of Franciscan Father Matthew Brozovic who died on January 31st in Milford, Ohio.  Father Matthew, age 85, served for over thirty years from the former Saint Anthony Friary in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, ministering in parishes throughout the area, including the former All Saints (now Saint Francis of Assisi) in Masontown during my time there as pastor.  Father Matt was a very earthy, outspoken person who was a little rough around the edges.  Probably from his early days as a teacher, he would engage people in conversation and debate, whether in personal encounters or even from the pulpit.   The unexpected was the expected from Father Matt.  And people loved him.  His life of service in the spirit of Saint Francis was a blessing to the Church.

      These three served the Church Universal and this local Church in ways that cannot be measured.  We are grateful.  May they rest in peace.

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