December 12, 2013

Fr. Gallen: November 12 Update

Update from Ireland: December 12, 2013

My brothers and sisters at Christ the Redeemer:

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

We do receive updates from Fr. Gallen's sister, Josephine, everyday; however, most often the updates are a beautiful, personal description of Fr. Gallen's health which for the most part has not changed. Thus, we have not sent out recent updates because his health has not changed much of late. 

However, this morning we received different news. Our latest update reported that the medical team visited and relayed more sobering news. There has been a significant deterioration over the past few days in comparrision to the end of last week. They feel Fr. Gallen's condition is slipping each day. By way of reminder, Fr. Gallen is currently receiving care at what we in the U.S. would call a hospice facility. His medical team there reminded the family that he has the most aggressive form of myeloma and the cancer is spreading rapidly. Today, they are also treating him for an infection, noted because of a temperature spike of late. In short, the medical team in Ireland has had more sobering conversations of late with Fr. Gallen's family.

Local priests have been visiting Fr. Gallen regularly and he has received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick per his previous request. As has been available, members of Fr. Gallen's family are "rotating" staying with him around the clock.  Although its been a tough struggle ... he is getting the best comfort care possible. As I write to you now, Fr. Gallen is a little more settled today ... sleeping almost all day, but restless at times.

It seems we have well over 2,000 of us here in Thibodaux praying at the hour of Divine Mercy! Keep it up! Again, 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 continue 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. It is important to be specific in our prayer so let us go to the Father with the request that Fr. Gallen's family be given the graces to gently let go and allow God's spirit to surround  Fr. Gallen as He calls him home.  Please, 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 ... continuing in the days ahead ... and pray for Fr. Gallen ... everyday at 3:00 PM.

Let's keep praying for Fr. Gallen ... for his family ... and for each other. See y'all this weekend!

Fr. Mark