Priests and Every Day Heroism



Just got back from Mass.  Our priest is away and so we had an elderly Monsignor saying Mass.  After our Deacon gave the homily, the Monsignor collapsed.  As the congregation said prayers, medically trained members of the congregation lept to assist him and an ambulance was called.  After the ambulance arrived it took several minutes for the Monsignor to regain his strength.  The ambulance team wanted to whisk him away to the hospital.  The Monsignor would have none of that.  He had come to say Mass, and that he was going to do, come what may to him.  With the ambulance team standing nearby, we had an abbreviated Mass, going straight to the consecration.  After the Eucharist, the Monsignor gave the final blessing and walked out with some assistance, promising to go to the hospital to be examined.  He received a round of applause, which I joined in, something I usually do not do, since I find applause in most circumstances out of place in a Church, but I found it a proper tribute on this occasion.

I have run many posts celebrating the heroism of priests who have served as military chaplains, and it is fit and proper that I have done this.  However, we must not overlook the every day heroism of the overwhelming majority of priests, who lead lives of quiet sacrifice in service to Christ and do not receive a fraction of the credit they deserve, and which, of course, they do not seek.  Something to consider as we welcome Christ at Christmas, that he has some very good men at His altars.

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  1. “The best times to show true love are when it isn’t easy and requires personal sacrifice.”

    The Monsignor has lived the above quote all of his priestly life. He wasn’t going to let this stop him from giving his flock the love which is Truth, the Eucharist. Love knows love. It sacrifices for the other.(s)

  2. How many good men in Roman collars braved the battle field while fighting was going on, in order to give the last rites to a fallen warrior. I recall reading of one on Clark Field in the Philippines in the midst of the bombing.
    Saints are far more numerous than man knows..

  3. DonL: Truly, I have read Kipling’s (his only son died with the Second Battalion, Irish Guards) book on the Irish Guards in the Great War. He writes about how important were the Catholic Chaplains to the soldiers. The CO tried to order the priests to stay out of the front line. They went up anyhow saying, “What is a wound when souls are to be saved? Or, a court martial for that matter.

  4. Yep the history was two volumes and his son’s name appears once in an appendix of the dead of the Irish Guards during the War. I am sure Lieutenant Jack Kipling in the world to come heartily approved.

  5. Kipling: Epitaphs of the War (1914 – 1918)

    “A Son

    “My son was killed while laughing at some jest. I would I knew

    What it was, and it might serve me in a time when jests are few.”

    “An Only Son
    “I have slain none except my Mother. She

    (Blessing her slayer) died of grief for me.”

  6. wonderful reminder of the hidden , deep sacrifices men and i’m sure many mom’s and dads do for their congregations and their children. Things we never see. Thanks Don – great post-
    as always

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