I wanted to share something that happened at Ryan's wake last night. I looked up at the doorway and saw our newest bishop on Long Island, Bishop Peter Libasci walking in. Now, by marriage, Mary Ellen is related to a pretty high ranking monsignor in our diocese, so I figured he must have called for the Bishop to pay a visit. I went over to greet the Bishop, since I felt somewhat of a connection... as a young priest he was assigned to the parish I grew up in and his first funeral there was my mother's. He also confirmed my niece, while still a priest, with a special dispensation. Last year, this time as a bishop, he confirmed my daughter with this same niece as a sponsor. Full circle!
The Bishop spent quite alot of time with the Barretts and at the end of the evening, after he had left, I spoke with the Monsignor and thanked him for arranging this visit. He looked at me puzzled and said "I had nothing to do with that. The Bishop said he had read in the paper that Ryan had wanted to be a priest. All priests are entitled to a visit from the Bishop at their wake!" Wow!
When I met Bishop Libasci at the door he said to me "I just had to come and see the little priest." Maybe because this is the year of the Priest, but this story really touched me and gives me incredible hope for the Church. Let's all continue to pray for our priests... new priests, seasoned priests, and future priests!