Update from Ireland: November 5, 2013
My brothers and sisters at Christ the Redeemer:
With a father's heart I post this morning in regards to Fr. Gallen's health.
Late in the evening on Monday, November 4, we received sobering news that our beloved Fr. John Gallen is not doing well. Let me explain ...
When Fr. Gallen originally returned to Ireland this spring, we, as a family, knew that he wasn't returning necessarily to "recover" as much as he was returning to Ireland to be with his family during the next season of his life. As we prepared to say good-bye, we together embraced the reality that a day would soon come where we would prepare yet again. Well ... that day has indeed come.
Monday we were informed that Fr. Gallen's cancer is advancing and no longer responding to chemotherapy. The doctors in Ireland are now using the language of "dying" rather than "treatment". The doctors there have said his condition will quickly worsen. The doctors themselves have used the language of "several days" or "several weeks" remaining. Of course, we would all love to know if it is days or weeks; however, cancer doesn't give you a timeline. What we do know is that we have cherished days remaining to pray together as a parish family.
We all love Fr. Gallen, for he indeed was a father to is all. The news of his decline sobers us all ... and of course invites us all to pray.
I'm sure many of you have questions about many things. Many of you may be asking: "When will he die?" "How will the parish find out?" "Will we have a memorial Mass?" "Can we pray for him now?" And many other questions ...
We on our end will do the best we can to communicate well with you. Your team here in the office is consulting with parishioners (Pastoral Council, KC Council, LAS, etc.) about a variety of details so that as a parish we may move forward with prudence and discernment considering the pastoral needs of these special days. As we come to know things we will pass them along to you as quickly as possible. As come to know we tell you as soon as possible.
I have cleared my calendar as much as possible to be most available to the circumstances presented to us. If you have questions ... need a listening ear ... or want to stop by the office for a cup of coffee ... know that the door is open. We're all in this together.
Let's keep praying for each other ... and for our beloved Fr. Gallen.