The Parish and the World of Father Walt

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September 25, 2016


My Mom raised me right.  “You always tell people thank you,” she said.  Then she said “Try and do it with more than those small already printed cards in which you only sign your name.”

By the time you read this, Lord willing I will have made it to Florida.  On Monday, my Orthopedist cleared me to drive.  Said my pain level was good enough to do that, the steroids I've been taking did the trick to numb my disc and I could take my chances with that journey and the southern cops.

I will be writing thank you letters, letters, to all of for last Sunday till Christmas.  Of course, what else do I have to do now huh?  In those letters I will be telling you how I, a person of words, have trouble expressing my deepest gratitude for what occurred last Sunday at my parish, my home, my community for what you offered and expressed to me, in your numbers, words, tears, gifts and yeah, the jet fly over at the end.  Hey.  You had to be there to feel it.

I want to thank Bev for being the Type A who organized the reception at Sullivan Hall.  Tom and Pat for all the work in the kitchen, those who helped.  Peg, who has been packing up my house for the last month and getting me ready for my move.  Dave who organized the shuttle to and from SH and Ray and Lauren who drove.  And Bob, the guy behind the scenes.  Thank you to all for the parish gift of membership at River Bend Golf Course near where I'll be living in Ormond Beach.  It's the neatest public course you'll ever find.  And I won't be the only Pittsburgher there.  I've already found the local Steeler bar to watch the games since they only show Jacksonville and Tampa on local TV.  Talk about boring.

This is the scene I imagine happening when I walk into the local post office in a week... “Whoa buddy, what are you planning to mail out?...  I have a lot of letters to mail out to some friends of mine...You must have a lot of a matter of fact I do....”

Thank you, thank you so much, and I'll tell you personally.

I leave you with this.

Tuesday, a week ago I came back from the hospital, after seeing my doc, and wondering if I could drive to Florida.  I received a call to anoint Katie O'Neill, who was dying, at the Scott Mini Kane.  I asked if the family wanted me to go right away, and they asked me to wait until all the family could get there, so we agreed on 7:00 pm.  When I got there, there were about twenty people in Katie's small room all gathered around.  I knew Katie, had seen her before, and after all her people had hugged her, and told her they were there, I went over, told her I was there to anoint her, and before I started said to her “Katie, isn't it wonderful to be surrounded by all this love?”

This past Sunday at St. Mary of the Mount I experienced what Katie felt.

Take care of Fr. Michael.

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