My father died suddenly of a massive heart attack in 1995. Subsequently, I began to travel on a regular basis with my mother. Being her only unmarried child (I have three brothers and a sister), it was easiest for me to accompany her to different vacation destinations over the last quarter of a century. At times to her friends she has affectionately referred to me as her “social director.”
My mother is a rather private person. She would never want me to say anything about her let alone write something about her. I guess that I truly admire her interior strength and fortitude over the years. Not only did she give birth to and raise five children, but she helped my father run their own businesses (grocery store and butcher shop, hotel and restaurant, motel) while battling some major health issues over the years (thyroid surgery, gall bladder surgery, back surgery, breast cancer, atrial fibrillation, to name a few). And she has lived as a widow now for almost 28 years.
I have journeyed with her all over the country and the world. We've been on cruises (Alaska, Caribbean) and religious pilgrimages (Rome, Holy Land). She never wanted to repeat any destination if she could help it. For her, the world has too many other places to see!
Why bother telling all this to you? Simply because I love my mother as I hope that you all do. As priests we are no more or no less human than anyone else. We come from a family. We have various family responsibilities depending on our particular situations. We are somebody’s child. The mother who gave me life deserves at least some of my time and attention. This was one way I have been able to spend some quality time with her through the years.
(As an aside, I am truly disgusted and saddened with the woke mentality in our contemporary society where mothers are referred to as "birthing persons" and even someone who now sits on the Supreme Court of our country couldn't/wouldn't clearly define what a woman is in her approval hearing. The world is insane!)
So as I write today. I am preparing to wish my own mom a Happy Mother’s Day! This November, with God's grace, she will reach her 90th birthday. Thank you God! Thanks so much for her!
Additionally, I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers this weekend.
For most people there is a special bond between mother and child. Our mothers carry us in their wombs for nine months. They endure the pangs of birth. They feed us, bathe us, clean up after us, teach us, comfort us, caress us and, most importantly, love us. How often they are willing to sacrifice for us! Thanks moms for your strength, patience and ability to make things better by your calming and reassuring presence. Whenever we take you for granted or forget what you have done for us over the years, we apologize. You deserve better from us. We love you!
Those who have lost their earthly mothers, please remember to pray for them and have Masses offered for them. Our faith teaches us, whether they are in purgatory or in heaven, they can pray for us! Let’s aid them in getting to heaven by offering our prayers, Masses and sacrifices for them.
In addition to our biological (or adoptive) mothers, I think that it is also important to remember to honor our Spiritual Mother as well. Our Blessed Lady should play an essential role in the lives of Catholics and indeed all Christians. She was given to us as our mother through St. John at the foot of the cross (See John 19: 26-27). After all, May is her month!
Fr. Ed Namiotka