The Hermit of Peace
Celebrating 24 years of ordained life
On 21 May 2018, I have the great peace to celebrate 24 years of ordained life. First, I ask you for your prayers. Secondly, I would like to share with you three of many individuals who have given me my spirituality. These individuals are: Fr. Joe Mungari, SAC, Blessed Charles de Foucauld, and Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.
Fr Joe Mungari, SAC, came to be the Pastor of All Saints R. C. Church in Brooklyn, NY when I returned after Lindenwood College. Very quickly he became more than a father to me. I found him to be holiest priest that I ever met. I still have a deep desire to be like him. Fr. Joe celebrated Holy Mass with great reverence. He was always talking about Jesus and Mary! He lived the Mass in that he loved us unconditionally. I never heard him judge anyone. He also used the Eucharist as a powerful weapon against evil. When I was off from teaching at school I would stay with him in the Church. Here I would see him spend hours in silent prayer in front of the Tabernacle. I remember him saying to me that the reason we have standing room only attendance at our major Masses on Sunday and many conversions was prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Rosary. Other priests would ask him what he did to get the results he received in ministry, what program he used and he would respond prayer. They could not understand what he was talking about.
Everyone felt welcome at All Saints and Fr. Joe was truly the Father of the entire community! One concrete example is how he had inspired the parishioners of his previous parish to donate all that was necessary to create a roller skating rink in the church hall. Every young person in the community was invited to participate free of charge. I still tear up thinking about how many souls were saved from destruction through this act of love that kept the youth off the streets and safe in Church. Fr. Joe gave me the great gift of seeing the true Church of Jesus Christ changing the world for so many people.
The love Fr. Joe showed to the people he was called to shepherd, set the course of my life as a priest. I understood, from my mentor, that the Church is the Doorway to Heaven.
Blessed Charles de Foucauld was introduced to me as I contemplated joining a religious society being formed at St. Anne/St. George R. C. Church in Brooklyn, NY at that time. There were many good and holy people involved in this new community, including a good number of priests, but out of loving respect and my chosen focus, I will only talk about the deceased by name. Msgr. Karvelis revealed the spirituality of Blessed Charles in how he organized and ran the Parish of Transfiguration. One example is a meal that Monsignor would prepare himself. Everyone ate together there. We were treated as true sisters and brothers. This is how always have wanted to live and whenever the Divine One permits me, I live this way.
Early on in my Priesthood, I was introduced to the Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, a mystic. The main message she was entrusted to pass on concerned the peace one can have by living in the Divine Will. Instead of fighting against persecution, I have chosen to also allow the Divine One to take control and to adjust my life and Priesthood to whatever He allows. I believe I am living the miracle of her intercession which I have frequently sought. In return I have been given acceptance of and true peace In Living in the Divine Will.
Thank you for sharing this intimate moment with me. I thank the Almighty for you!
Peace and love.
Hermit of Peace.