This site has been unusually silent in recent days and I want to explain why. About seven weeks ago I took a spill (wet feet on a tile bathroom floor) and landed on my right side (my business side, of course). While there was nothing broken, thank God, I did manage to tear three of the four tendons in my right rotator cuff and partially limited my ability to do things I should and must do (give Eucharist on the tongue to those taller people who approach me, for example). The event gave birth to residual pain in the arm as well, far from excruciating, mind you, but enough to let me know it was there. Additionally, I had long ago made plans which could not be changed to be out of the country for the last two weeks, missing both the Fall USCCB General Assembly and the installation of Archbishop Blasé Cupich as Archbishop of Chicago. So tomorrow I pay the piper and rotator cuff surgery is scheduled for 800am EST. It will not require hospitalization but as most of you know, the recovery and rehab is quite lengthy, extensive and painful. Tonight I say farewell to my bed and hello to some motorized lounge chair which will become my home and throne for several weeks. I have an excellent surgeon in whom I have the greatest confidence and he assured me that I need to brace myself (should have done that weeks ago in the bathroom). Anyway, prayers are welcome and if Siri can understand my English better, I may have some things to say in the next few weeks. Among the topics are: the St. Jude the Apostle Awards [until then see our website], the President’s Executive Order on Immigration [I strongly support it and wished mightily that it would have been a little more generous. It is not my intention to engage in the question of how it was done but something was long overdue], School Choice and the elections of 2014 [Hope some people in the Education world can read the tea leaves on public sentiment for choice]. Only God knows how with a combination of little to do for maybe two weeks and pain-lesseners, what else may plant itself in this fertile but inert mind. So it is off the see the wizard of orthopedics. Thanks for your prayers and the many good wishes already received from so many of you. +RNL
Archive for November, 2014
On All Souls Day, the Lord came for the soul of another of our priests who will be well known to many, especially in St. Catherine of Siena parish in Largo, where he served for many years, and at St. Brendan parish on Island Estates and other parishes in the Clearwater area where he assisted after his retirement from active ministry. Father John O’Donovan battled cancer while living here and ultimately he returned to his native Ireland to finish his treatment and his life among family and friends. At 150pm GMT (Ireland time), the Lord came for him and said “enough, come now to the place prepared by my Father and enter into eternal rest.
A tall man with big heart, he came to our diocese to serve much of his priesthood with Father Michael Finnegan, pastor at the time of St. Catherine. They were both heavy smokers and both confessed to me at one time or another that they fully understood the risks they were taking. Father John had that innate Irish wit which so many of our priests had and a dry sense of humor. He was loved and appreciated by all who heard him preach or to whom he came in the times of their own distress.
I spoke with Father last week as he was leaving a hospital for a last time to enter hospice. He was comfortable knowing that death might be imminent but he never gave up hope for a miracle. Kind, consoling, compassionate, Father John O’Donovan helped us enormously here in the diocese.
If you read this and know or remember him, please keep he and his family in your prayers on Tuesday afternoon when there will be a wake service and on Wednesday morning when his funeral Mass will be celebrated. I had hoped that I might be able to fly to Ireland to celebrate his life and death but it is not possible for me. Perhaps it is just as well because his friend of many years, Bishop William Walsh, Bishop Emeritus of Killaloo will be present. I will offer Mass, however, for the peaceful repose of Father John’s soul.