From: Mary Zimmerman
It was such a privilege to be in the presence of Bishop Quinn celebrating Mass with us this Sunday at St. Maryís Parish. He is a very humble, kind, loving person. You canít help but like him. He just recently returned home from a trip to Rome and an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Every five years a bishop has to report to the big guy. Iím sure the pope sent this message back for all of us. ďTell my people donít be so deaf and blinded by worldly glitter and noise so as to ignore the cries of the poor as well as the babies being aborted.Ē
The bishop spoke about going to get an eye examination. His point was, we try very hard to have good visual sight, itís called 20/20. Yet we seem less conscious about our spiritual vision becoming cloudy.
We can be physically blind and yet if we have spiritual sight thatís what really matters. If we can look and see the face of God we are really not so deprived.
We so often clean our glasses to have the best vision possible and yet put up with our blurred vision of seeing the splinter in the eyes of others but not noticing the plank in our own. Itís the Sacrament of Confession (Reconciliation) that restores again and again our spiritual sight. Itís the mercy of God that wipes off the smudges and shines us up. We are fighting a strong tide of sin in todayís world. Letís let God help us fight and win the battle.
Bishop Quinn also spoke about Lent, coming to Mass every Sunday and perhaps during the week. He said if we havenít kept our intentions itís okay to start over, which can be done all year. It just seems like God works a little harder in our lives for these few weeks leading up to Holy Week and through Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter).
Good Friday. We strain our insight a bit to understand why itís called Good Friday. The Son of God sacrificing His life on the cross that you and I might have eternal life. His tears of blood shed in the Garden of Gethsemane werenít for His physical pain and suffering but because for some it would be in vain, still not accepting Godís gift of salvation. Let us pray for the conversion of sinners. God have mercy on us and on the whole world. The Novena of Divine Mercy starts on Good Friday. Call me for a copy at 507-452-2570.
Father Keefe was our pastor at St. Maryís in Winona for many years until he was assigned to Pax Christi in Rochester. As many of you know he was suffering from a very bad illness. It disabled him. He could no longer speak but only write notes. When Bishop Quinn visited him shortly before he died, he asked him his feelings about dying. Father got out his notebook one last time. ďI fear nothing except sin,Ē he wrote. I know Father Keefe had surely prepared well for his final test. Just eating the right healthy food would be a good penance, right?
In Father Keefeís last moments he sat up, looked around and cracked a big smile. His voice was silent but his heart with singing with joy. Iím going to see the King, alleluia, alleluia, and then he went to see the King, alleluia.
Farewell Father Keefe. We appreciate your life, so well lived for others (as you did it to the least of my brethren you did it for me).
P.S. Father Keefe now has his voice back so Iíd suspect his being a real prayer warrior for us. I believe Father Frisch is still taking pictures (wish heíd send us some) and writing stories. He always graced the Sunday bulletin while he served as pastor at St. Paulís in Minnesota City. Father Ginther, Iím sure heís heavenís humorist, cracking jokes all the time.