February 22, 2008

Prayers for My Parish and a Good Priest

Father Patrick J. Ryan, a very patient and kind man, excellent confessor and fascinating storyteller of local Catholic history, is retiring on June 30th of this year. He's the pastor of my parish, St. Andrew in St. Paul, MN.

This year, Father celebrates 50 years in the service of Holy Church.

He leaves St. Andrew, parish and Rectory, in much better shape then what it was when he arrived 6-years ago. His successor will have a solid foundation to start from-with some room for improvements too (I gripe regularly about the talking in Church and the occasionally sloppy altar servers so that's not a surprise to anyone here)!

I admit I am apprehensive about who the replacement could be. I've decided to start a Novena. I'd appreciate any prayers you could throw our way too!

Father has taught me much (well, he's always trying to teach me anyway! LOL!) about patience and charity. One of his favorite phrases is: "In YOUR time, Lord" Father can often be found kneeling in the Adoration Chapel and in the Church before the Blessed Sacrament. In fact, I was privaledged to share my Adoration hour with Father Ryan for a time. I've NEVER heard him say a bad word about anyone. Ever. He never sweats the small stuff but he never runs from the tough truths either. The kids in our parish just love him and he always goes out of his way to give them a special welcome.

I remember the first time I saw Father how severe I thought he looked. I'm ashamed of how I judged him before I knew him.

Everytime, Father sees me he asks me to pray for him. I always feel like he's not aiming very high, asking ME, miserable sinner, to pray for him, but I always do. I think it would be great if we all sent up a prayer for Father's intentions.

Here's hoping Father has many more years to enjoy his cabin in Wisconsin and walks with his dog, Clancy.

Thank you, Father. God bless you. You are in my prayers today and always.


Blogger Angela M. said...

Praying the Holy Spirit is preparing a holy priest to replace the one that is retiring.

February 23, 2008 12:27 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Praying for Father and and the new one to come.

February 23, 2008 11:04 AM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

I miss Father Ryan already and I only met him once.

There are a lot of wonderful priests in the archdiocese. I wonder if it would be possible for us to put on a Great Priests Awards contest among us bloggers like the "Catholic Blog Awards" event.

The weakness of the concept is that there are probably 300 or more priests in the archdioces and there are probably only 50 or so of us bloggers, most of whom don't participate much.

And their vocation shouldn't be a "contest." But they do deserve recognition.

February 23, 2008 12:06 PM  
Anonymous ukok said...

Prayer ascending!

February 23, 2008 12:38 PM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

I will keep this venerable priest in my prayers. I hope he enjoys his new life with his cabin in Wisconsin (I envy him!).

Don't worry too much about the one to replace him, although I can certainly see where you are coming from. No priest, regardless of his unorthodoxy or lack of care, can destroy the Church. But that realization is NOT going to keep you from getting livid if he's less than traditional, will it? LOL!

February 23, 2008 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I will be praying too!

February 23, 2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous adoro said...

Maybe you'll get one of my favorite priests...he will definitely be moved this spring. You'd be blessed to have him at your parish.

February 23, 2008 7:35 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

Prayers for Father in his retirement and for your new priest and your parish.

February 24, 2008 10:21 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Father Ryan is a holy and courageous priest! He was so very comforting to my beloved mother as she grew closer to death. He even dropped everything on a busy Holy Saturday and came immediately to the hospital when I called him to annoint her. I will pray that God grants him every good blessing and all the joy he has selflessly given to others through the years. Of course it's also special that we share the same last name (my maiden name:-) God reward you Father Patrick Ryan!
P.S.Thanks for coming to our retreat yesterday! I hope you enjoyed it.

February 24, 2008 8:18 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks everyone!

Colleen: Thanks for the comment! ;-) I really thought Father was great yesterday. Even better than last year-despite his lack of sleep. I'm SO glad I went. I keep meaning to drop your organization a note about it. Thanks for the reminder.

February 25, 2008 5:52 AM  

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