My dearest family in Christ,
As many of you have heard, I was hospitalized at Ellis last Saturday evening (July 29th) with severe abdominal pain. That physical pain was compounded by the fact that I was inhibited from celebrating Holy Mass for and with you on Sunday. A partially completed bulletin was still on my computer at home.
I informed our Bishop as well as members of the Parish Committee and they reached most of you. We had hoped for a last-minute fill-in for Holy Mass but that could not be accomplished on such short notice.
On Sunday morning as you each prayed in your own ways, I underwent surgery at 11am. I remained in hospital through Wednesday afternoon. I am now at home continuing recovery. I have another procedure to undergo Monday morning and then on to the rest of my healing.
I made it through by God’s abundant blessing and the presence of Christ (thank you to Ellis’ ministry team), with the great support of my wife Renee and children, Adam and Victoria. Victoria took me to the hospital and stayed with me until 4am. Adam sat with me most nights – nearly around-the-clock. Renee took care of all that needed doing – she was there for me in every way she possibly could have been. I am also grateful to my daughter Stephanie and sister Andrea who kept in contact and kept my spirits going. Thank you to Paul, Larry, and Pete who informed you on Sunday. Thank you to everyone who visited, sent cards, texted, brought balloons, and most especially prayed.
Thank you to the entire Ellis team. They were phenomenal! Dr. Sanchez, the 3rd floor A nursing team, especially TerryAnn, Hadiye, and Jennifer, all the Techs, who worked so hard in the face of terrible staffing shortages. They are dedicated men and women who deserve our respect and support.
I thank God for those I was able to minister to while I was in hospital – God opens doors.
Speaking with Bishop Bernard, I so wanted to celebrate Holy Mass for the Solemnity of the Transfiguration, but he in his wisdom urged me to fully heal and not take risks. Thank you to Deacon Michael for coming out to minister on the Solemnity (he is wonderful).
Indeed, experiences like these if understood in light of God’s abundant mercy are transformative. They help you to understand things anew, to correct ways that have veered off, and to see things in clearer light. May God’s grace continue in transfiguring each of us into His image.
I expect to return next Sunday, August 13th. Weekday Holy Mass will resume August 14th. I love you all and miss you dearly. May Almighty God bless you for your goodness and compassion and your resolute faith.
– Fr. Jim