I was able to say a public Mass in our church yesterday, (Monday, November 8, 2021). For me, this was an important accomplishment since I had not been able to do so for about a month. After my hospital discharge, I was gradually able to say Mass in the rectory, mostly sitting down. Not yesterday. I was able to say Mass once again in the church. May God be praised!
As I tell people, I am not 100% yet. I still get winded at times. I am still dealing with some unusual fatigue. I have been told by many people who have had Covid-19 that it may take much more time than I would think or want.
At any rate, I am back in the saddle.
Months ago, before I ever imagined getting sick, I had made arrangements to go on my annual retreat. Canon law requires priests to make a five day retreat annually. My tradition has been to join the Trappist Monks for some time of silent prayer. (To be honest, I have had an over-abundance of silent prayer lately!)
So if you do not see me for a short time, I did not have a relapse. I am simply away with a few of my brother priests on retreat and then taking a few days together for a brief vacation. I will be back in time for Thanksgiving.
Fr. John O’Leary, a priest whom I have known since I was in high school, will be staying at the rectory and covering for me while I am away. He did the same last year, so I could get away.
I will be staying at the Abbey of the Genesee, in Piffard, NY. I have previously related how the monks bake Monks’ Bread there to help sustain their monastery. The monks keep a strict prayer regimen in the monastery, praying seven times a day. I am not sure to what level we are currently able to participate since many of the monks are elderly and there have been restrictions on visitors.
Know that I will be praying for you! May I ask that you remember me next week, with a special prayer for my physical and spiritual health?
While I am on the topic, retreats can be very beneficial for us all. I have known various groups of men who are Men of Malvern, annually attending the retreats provided at the Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA. Others attend San Alphonso, a retreat house run by the Redemptorists in Long Branch, NJ. There are a number of such places in our area and throughout the country. Maybe one would be good for you!
As I mentioned, I will return in time to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with my family at the rectory. My brother and I will be cooking!
With my continued prayers,
Fr. Ed Namiotka