Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Dear Parishioners,

As I write my weekly message today, I am sick.  I went to the doctor yesterday, was given a couple prescriptions to be filled and was told to rest.  So far I have been listening to the doctor’s recommendation and I am sleeping a lot.

Like many people, I usually just keep going and going until something forces me to stop.  I am reminded, at times like these, of my many limitations and the need to take care of myself.

My illness also gets me thinking about those who have much more severe problems than I do—those who are hospitalized, those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and the homebound or shut-ins.

Sickness is certainly no fun.  Many people get frustrated by it.  It is downright depressing for others.  It can be painful for us just to watch a friend or loved-one suffer with an illness.  Seeing a child with a serious disease or illness more than breaks my heart.
This past weekend I preached about picking up our crosses and following Jesus—the command given in St. Luke’s Gospel (Lk. 9: 18-24).  Sickness can certainly be a cross.  Whether it is physical illness, mental suffering, or both, I suspect most of us want to petition God for relief like Jesus did in his agony in the garden:  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me . . .” (Lk. 22:42)

In general, sickness reminds me that this life on earth—no matter how many good things it holds for us—still involves some form of suffering and pain at various times.  It re-focuses my mind on the fact that life in this world is only temporary.  Set your heart on the greater things . . . the spiritual things.  Someday I hope to experience a heaven without sickness, suffering, death or pain.  Someday.

I suspect that soon enough I will be back on my feet, out and about as usual.  In the meantime, this temporary inconvenience is once again telling me to slow down and rest a while.  Be grateful for your usual good health and overall well-being.  Sometimes it needs to be taken away so that you realize what you have.
I guess I have much too much time to think right now.

Fr. Ed Namiotka


Friday, June 21, 2013

Remembering Sr. Virginia

Dear Parishioners,

For 37 years Sr. Virginia Cleary, SSJ was a part of our regional school and parish community.  Sister spent most of her days here as a first grade teacher, forming and influencing countless young lives.  In her later years, she cooked for the sisters at the convent, keeping a clean, very organized kitchen.  Sister recently celebrated her 85th birthday.

Most mornings, since I arrived here as pastor two years ago, I would look out from the altar at Mass time and Sister would be seated to my left, quietly saying her prayers.  That practice continued up until several months ago when she began to feel ill.  Sister quietly battled cancer for the last few months, residing most recently at St. Joseph Villa in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.  

A viewing and Mass of Christian Burial took place this past Friday at St. Joseph Villa where Sister was interred in the Villa cemetery.

Realizing that many parishioners could not be present for Sister’s funeral, I will celebrate a Memorial Mass for Sister on Monday, July 1st at 7 PM in the Church.  Please try to attend to pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Virginia.  After so many years of dedicated service to our school and parish community, this is one small way to say “thank you” for all she has done.

The Sisters of St. Joseph request any donations be made in Sister’s name to St. Joseph Villa, 110 W. Wissahickon Ave., Flourtown, PA 19031.

May she rest in peace.

Fr. Ed Namiotka