He was convinced that by doing so her Son had poured boundless blessings
over our parish and nobody
could possibly deny that because it became a vibrant parish which has been growing ever since.
Monsignor was everything what Charles de Foucauld so beautifully wrote down in "The Priesthood".
He was it all ! We often wondered how he could do all he did bearing in mind he was in his mid-70's.
Every day in the late afternoon you could find him in church for his Holy Hour. He never missed.
Every day prompt at 07.45 hrs. he started to rosary up to only a few months ago when he started getting breathing problems. Then asked one of the faithful to do it on his behalf.
Nevertheless at 0800 hrs. he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every day up to the very day he was hospitalized. It must have been difficult for him but he never gave in.
Every week he visited the sick and the elders at their residences and distributed Holy Communion.
He prayed with the dying and helped them in their last hour with the Sacraments whenever possible.
When a parishioner died he went with the Servants of Mary to pray the rosary with their family.
He gave spiritual guidance to members of the Sodality, the Holy Name Society and met promptly every Tuesday night with the Servant of Mary. Year in - year out.
All altar boys - 34 in total - were trained by him for both the Latin and Novas Order Mass. He had two groups of 8 for the Latin Mass. The only difficulty he ever encountered was that they all wanted to serve and he had to assign them on a sort of schedule. He cared deeply for them and was proud of them.
He made very clear that the church was the house of God - Christ was right there in the tabernacle. So it should always be a quiet place where people could pray or meditate at all times, before, during and after Mass. If somebody had a desire to talk he could do so outside but NEVER inside God's house. Any person entering this holy place should genuflect - when physically able - and should be properly dressed. No shorts or improper attire. Again, when you visit the "King" you dress accordingly.
All of the above to show respect for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. These guidelines made St. Roch's church the success what it is today. A true quiet dwelling place for people to pray.
In the fall home visitations were on his agenda and for weeks long he visited every family in the parish.
When people moved into the parish he would come down and consecrate their homes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If families moved to another house he would do the same when asked. He visited families as far as an hour away but distance did not hold him back.
Every First Friday he celebrated. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and stayed exposed for Adoration during the whole day. Each time an attendance list of parishioners was prepared who would keep the Good Lord company so He would never be alone.
Then at 1845 hrs. the day was concluded with Adoration and Benediction.
First Saturday was celebrated in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. As he always said: "At her own request".
It was opened at 07.45 with the Meditation, followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. During the exposition the rosary was prayed and the service was closed with the Benediction. For anyone who wanted to go to confession the opportunity was given.
However because of so many people going to confession Father James Prior of the neighboring Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church came always to help him out for which the faithful were very grateful.
He was in daily contact with the sisters in ICS. In a regular rotation with other priests he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the children, held confessions and gave spiritual advise.
Because of his great interest in the school he was involved in every event, such as the Golden Jubilee of the School, the recent Silver Jubilee of the two sisters, the school board meetings with the parents, the annual outings for his altar boys, etc. etc. and the above does not even include all the administrative work he had always waiting for him in the rectory. He seemed never to be tired.
If we would ask him, he would say (with a smile): "I have no time to be tired so I am not tired".
He knew how to inspire people by his complete openness, calling a spade a spade, yes was yes and no was no. He had no place for "political correctness" .
He did not preach love where there was no love but he could tell you how to love.
He felt that sweet talk would not get you anywhere in this world but the truth did.
Yes, he was a kind and compassionate priest, always ready to help his flock, wherever and whenever.
To him family and faith were the roots of society. In both a good example was the key to success.
The young people were very close to his heart because to them belonged the future. He loved them.
He NEVER asked for money. NEVER! He did not need to. The parish never showed a red figure.
This priest not only always dressed as a priest but he also behaved like one in every respect.
He felt it was essential that people should AT ALL TIMES recognize a priest in their time of need.
The high use of the sacrament of confession should say something about how he was valued as a priest.
This priest not only preached what he so strongly believed in but he truly practiced what he preached.
One thing was always on his mind: The decay of the faith of so many in Holy Mother the Church, the serious shortage of good and devoted priests often caused by modern teachings which kept so many young people away from following up in their vocations causing a loss of vocations. He stood by all these good solid families with a strong faith and deep convictions and was aware of their frustrations.
One could never say that he did not warn his people. Time after time he begged them to visit the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament more often, to ask Our Lady for Her intercession and to pray every day the rosary.
To ask God's mercy for all the blasphemes against His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of His Mother. That it was the only way to protect ourselves, our families and our parish. And to pray !!!
He was really the most perfect example of what the faithful want to see in a priest: A priest!
Now he has left this earth, we have to pray much that growth continues in the vine yard he planted.