My apologies! It has been a few weeks since I last added to the blog. Two things happened to keep my from writing. The first was the business of the Holy Triduum and Easter Sunday. The second was spending my first weekend as Pastor of St. Michael Parish in Emlenton. When you don’t know where the garage keys, the plunger, or the light switches are in the house, some other things tend to slip through the cracks. Again, my apologies for the absence of the blog entries.
Even today, my writing will be brief. In the Erie Diocese, we have lost some wonderful priests to sickness and death. Fr. Steven Anderson, Pastor of Our Lady, Queen of the Americas in Conneaut Lake, died during Holy Week. He was a dedicated and well-loved Priest. Our hearts go out to the people of that good parish. Also, Monsignor John (Jack) Hagerty passed away on Saturday, April 6.
I could go on and on about Monsignor Hagerty. He was one of the best priests I ever met. I would be hard-pressed to find a better role model for priesthood than him. In his obituary, a quote from a letter to a fellow priest was included. It sums up what a priest should be all about. Monsignor Hagerty wrote:
“My worth and yours, Tom, (and every priest’s) is not in our brains or our talent, but in our sanctity, or at least our attempt at it. Wherever you go, God is there. He is the one source and center of what you desire and need. You will find Him all over the globe; your job will be to more firmly root Him in the hearts of your people.”
I was blessed to read this quote as I began my first weekend as a Pastor, in a new place, meeting new faces. Monsignor Hagerty put my spirit right where it needed to be, so I might be an effective pastor. Yes, may all Priests heed this advice: root your people in God – in Christ! Try to be holy – God will bring this work to fulfillment by His grace. Yes, this is our work. Be Holy. Root Christ in the hearts of all people. Well said!
Sometimes the best advertisement for the seminary is not the young priest, but the old one…………