This weekend we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. We remember the beautiful gift that St. Faustina gave us in the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which we recite each Friday at 3:00pm in the chapel. If you are unfamiliar with the Chaplet you can visit our website www.stanns.net and hit the tab for Catholic Travelling Prayers and click on the video for this prayer. Join me on the shores of the West Coast (Daisy State National Park overlooking the Pacific Ocean) or the East Coast (on the sands of Rexhame Beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean) as we recite the Divine Praises amidst God’s beautiful creation. This is a devotion that focuses on God’s Mercy and Forgiveness and petitions God for His mercy with all of humanity. The Rosary is a beautiful devotion but one more focused on our personal needs, I have enjoyed taping these videos of the Chaplet, Rosary, Angelus and novenas and hope you too may join me in these beautiful vistas.
This past Thursday morning, Father Jerry Shea passed into eternal life at the New England Deaconess-Beth Israel Hospital, in the presence of his sister Maureen and other family members. I visited and anointed Father Shea on Tuesday of Holy Week, the day after he fell ill, and visited again on Wednesday shortly before he passed to the Lord. The arrangements of his funeral are incomplete at the time that I write this column, but they are being made with MacDonald Funeral Home. We offer our condolences to his sister and her family, his relatives, priest friends and the many neighborhood friends from this area he grew up with. I have many pleasant memories of Father Jerry, and was so impressed with his generous service to the pastors on the South Shore; he celebrated the sacraments at Our Lady of the Assumption (saying Mass there for over 50 years, beginning as a newly ordained when he would spend his overnights with his parents, and for the last 30 years celebrating the Tuesday morning Mass, also where a few years ago he celebrated his 50th ordination anniversary), here, St. Thecla’s in Pembroke, St. Mary of the Nativity in Scituate, St. Helen’s in Norwell…and those are the places he regularly helped out while retired. He was the Pastor of St. Peter’s in Plymouth and it was from there that he became a senior priest. Father Shea was so kind to me in celebrating Funeral Masses for me when I had other conflicts, and helping out on the weekend when I would be on vacation. He was well regarded and loved by his brother priests. Father Shea lived on Ocean St and it seemed every time I drove by his house he would be hosting company. He loved tech gadgets and always had the newest devices offered by Apple….a man ahead of his time, he was the first priest I knew to own a hybrid automobile. He loved music and loved to sing, and if there wasn’t an organist and soloist at Mass he would sing himself. He loved God and loved being a priest, and he had the regard of his brother priests.
Along with many of you I will miss his laugh and his love for life, but am happy for him that he now enjoys the countenance of God and is back with his parents, with whom he missed so much.
We will have a Month’s Mind Mass at a Saturday Vigil Mass in a few weeks. May he rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him.