From time to time we receive letters addressed to the whole community of our Parish. Two of these letters came in recently from members of our community after moments of both great joy and great sorrow.
The first is from Kay White, the widow of our beloved Deacon Pat, the second from Ann Gill whose son was recently ordained to the Transitional Diaconate at Saint Bridget. There is a wonderful connection between Deacon Pat White and Deacon Luke Gill. While Luke was a student at Benedictine Preperatory School, Deacon Pat was one of his teachers. The two discussed Luke's discernment and Deacon Pat played an important role in Deacon Luke's vocation. Upon his ordination Deacon Luke was presented with a set of Deacon Pat's vestments.
From Kay White:
To the Beloved Community and Parishioners of St. Bridget Church,
First, please accept my apology for my delay in writing to express our thanks for the love, support, friendship and kindness this beautiful community showed Pat and our family. Our entire family has been deeply touched and overwhelmed at the tremendous outpouring of love and support during Pat’s illness, death and funeral rites.
From the very beginning of Pat’s diagnosis this loving community showed up to support and encourage him. Your prayers, words of encouragement, calls, cards, Rosaries, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Mass Intentions meant so very much to him and truly gave him the strength to keep going. He was humbled at the outpouring of your love and support. For fourteen months, you never allowed him to walk this journey alone. You supported each step and provided the strength and energy required to endure. When it became apparent in December the remission and cure for which you all had so earnestly and fervently prayed was not God’s plan, you redirected those prayers for his peaceful passing. His last days included listening to his beloved parishioners praying the Rosary and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy on our iPad placed next to his pillow. The beautiful sound of your voices in prayer helped usher him from his earthly home. The smile on his face was his outward sign of thankfulness and comfort.
Pat loved being a Deacon at St. Bridget! His passion was education and teaching about our faith. He loved his time teaching RCIA and getting to know the parishioners of our parish. Our family cannot thank you enough for providing him this beautiful opportunity. It truly was, in addition to his faith and our family, the joy of his life.
I do not have the words to express how your support and presence at his funeral rites touched our family. Hearing all of your stories of Pat warmed our hearts and helped us to realize that not only will he live on in our hearts but that you too will carry him in yours as well. What a gift to us all.
I would like to thank Father Ken, Father James, Deacon Bob, Deacon V.J. Deacon Charlie, Yvonne Smith and the Parish Staff for accommodating and organizing the Vigil, Funeral Mass and reception. Thank you to all of you that participated, served, prepared, and showed hospitality. Again, there are no words to articulate our appreciation. Monsignor Carr spoke of Pat being a servant leader and the joy he received from serving this community. You, too, demonstrated the virtues of servant leadership to all of us.
Forever in your debt, I sincerely thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.
From Pat and Ann Gill
We would like to thank St. Bridget parish for supporting Luke in his recent ordination to the transitional diaconate at Saint Bridget Church! Thank you to all who were able to come and for the many prayers from our fellow parishioners. Both were such a gift and a blessing to our whole family.
With sincere thanks and gratitude,
Pat and Ann Gill