Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Post-Op Reports

Following up on the early-morn post, and just to keep the Friends of Milt out there looped-in, he got out of surgery a little after noon; "doctor says it couldn't have gone any better" is the word.... However, as is standard with even the best of bypass procedures, "the next 24 hours are critical."

Thanks to all the many Jordanites who've sent in prayers and messages, literally from around the world. He'll get to read 'em all by the weekend... and you know he'll get a kick out of it. Keep the prayers comin'.

* * *

And yesterday in the Upstate, Fr Tim's funeral was celebrated by Bishop-emeritus James Timlin of Scranton.

A friend sent in the following summary:
All events were held in St. Nicholas Church in Wilkes-Barre. This was the church Tim had been an associate pastor at before becoming pastor for the first (and only) time. St. Nicholas is an old, German church with three distinct spires on the outside and a beautiful sanctuary made of dark wood. The church holds at least 1500 people, if not more, and for 3 hours last Sunday evening the center aisle was occupied with visitors passing by the simple wooden box up at the front to say goodbye to their friend.

Tim's sisters were there along with their spouses and children. I think everyone had prepared for Tim's death long ago since he had been seriously sick so often that we felt we were ready for it. Honestly, for me, I don't think it has really set in fully yet.

The funeral on Monday morning was celebrated beautifully. Our retired Bishop, James Timlin, was the celebrant and his good friend and Holy Cross priest, Tom Looney, gave the homily. Tom's words were honest and funny, true to Tim's life and the wishes Tim had shared with Tom were carried out to the fullest.

Father Tom made mention that if Tim were to write an autobiography, he would call it "A Wimp in Wonderland." Tim always felt he was a "wimp" due to his illness, due to his battles with alcohol (he was a recovering alcoholic), and due to the anxiety he faced everyday in order to live life. Father Tom dispelled each of those notions with the elegance of an orator and with the compassion of a friend.

Highlighted were Tim's love of music and liturgy. He prayed his daily prayers using the New Jerusalem Bible since its words were so poetic in tone. He would sit alone in his chair and imagine the choirs of saints and of angels singing the holy psalms.

Tim also loved to lament. Not about his own problems, but of those of the world...the people of Africa being slaughtered with no help. Our children being killed in our war in Iraq. The rapists and drug dealers and murderers Tim befriended at our local prison. Tim always told me while I was discerning my vocation,"A good priest allows his heart to break." Tim's heart broke often and usually for those people the world had forgotten....

I leave you with a quote from St. Paul that Tim used so often, "You are are young and strong and living a great adventure."

Now the same can be said of Tim...and living a great adventure.
And may the rest of us have the courage to do the same.