November 7, 2013

Fr. Gallen: November 7 Update

Update from Ireland: November 7, 2013

My brothers and sisters at Christ the Redeemer:

Wanted to continue to update you this morning in regards these special days with Fr. Gallen.

First: an update from Ireland. The entire Gallen family is embracing these sacred days with their brother. Fr. Gallen remains in the hospital. His family is with him. Here is selected text from an email sent to us yesterday from Josephine (Fr. Gallen's sister): "He's quite prayerful today and thankfully a priest came to visit him and blessed him and spent time praying with him." ... "He talked a lot about his years in America and how he wouldn't have changed his vocation." ... "It's a day at a time now."

Again, Fr. Gallen is comfortable. He is getting the best medical treatment possible. His family does have the privilege of being with him round the clock. Fr. Gallen and his family remain at the hospital with him.

Second: an update from things here in the parish. Yesterday, your team here in the office met with representatives of the Pastoral Council and other organizations to finalize arrangements for the eventual day. As I mentioned yesterday, planning now with prudence and discernment helps us enter these sacred days more prepared and interiorly recollected.

Here's what we discerned as God's desire for our parish family:
  • We plan on hosting two events here at Christ the Redeemer. First, none of us knows when the the final day of Fr. Gallen's life will be. Again, the doctors themselves told us "several days" or "serval weeks." However, within 24 hours of Fr. Gallen's final breath, we will gather as a parish family and pray the Rosary. We have approximately 400 email addresses of parishioners. We'll send out a batch email as soon as we get word of his death, and then call remaining parishioners who don't have emails. We'll gather in the evening for a Rosary which will be lead by members of the Knights of Columbus and the Ladies Altar Society. 
  • Secondly, at some point thereafter we will host a Memorial Mass. The date and time of the Memorial Mass are to be determined, as we discern many things such as the calendars of all those invited, as well as what's most convenient for our parish family. We finalized the details of the Memorial Mass last night including readings, music, ministers, as well as ways we can include parishioners from the other parishes Fr. Gallen served (St. Mary's in Raceland, Sacred Heart in Morgan City, St. John's in Thibodaux, and the Spanish speaking community in Thibodaux). Of course, details in regards to the Memorial Mass are still fluid; however, I feel we now have "banks of the river" so that the water can flow. Again, planning now with prudence and discernment helps us rest and enter these following days more able to pray.

Third: As I mentioned yesterday, I would like to invite everyone of us in the parish family to a special spiritual exercise. 3:00 PM is affectionately known as "The Hour of Divine Mercy". As Christ who is our Redeemer died at 3:00 PM, the 3:00 PM hour has long been regarded as a sacred time each day. Therefore, I would like everyone of us to pause everyday at 3:00 PM and pray (1) an Our Father, (2) a Hail Mary, and (3) a Glory be to the Father. These three simple prayers all prayed at the same hour, will bind us as a parish family and petition God to bestow graces upon our beloved Fr. Gallen. Set your alarm. Fix your phone. Leave a sticky note on your computer. Do whatever it takes. All us ... no matter where we are ... let's pause every day ... starting today ... and pray for Fr. Gallen ... everyday at 3:00 PM.

Looking forward to seeing you at Mass this weekend. Again, as we know more we'll share more. We're all in this together ... let's keep praying ...

Fr. Mark