Archive for May 2013

A worthy intercessor

May 26, 2013

At our Men’s Prayer Breakfast yesterday, during the prayer time when we were voicing our prayer intentions, a man prayed for his daughter who has cancer.

Fr John Petrasko

Fr John Petrasko

Recently, I sent my daughter some information on the priest who baptized her:  Fr John Petrasko.  At the time of her baptism on July 17, 1988, Fr Petrasko was the Chaplain at Misericordia University (known at that time as “College Misericordia”).  Normally, she would have been baptized by the assistant pastor at Gate of Heaven Parish in Dallas.  However, he was away that weekend, and Fr Petrasko was covering for him.

Two years after he baptized my daughter, Fr John Petrasko died of colon cancer at the young age of 36.  He was in the hospital for several months leading up to his death.  Though he and many others prayed for his healing, Fr Petrasko accepted his illness without bitterness or anger, but as part of God’s mysterious plan for his life.  As he got closer to death, he was very frustrated by the fact that the pain medication caused him to be so woosy that he was unable to pray well.

At the post-baptism celebration, Fr Petrasko mentioned in conversation that, besides his work as a college chaplain and fill-in priest, he occasionally went to hear confessions and have Mass for the inmates at SCI-Retreat, the state prison along the Susquehanna River in Hunlock Creek.

SCI - Retreat

SCI – Retreat

I asked him if others were allowed to accompany him, and he responded that they were, but that they needed to be added to the visitors list prior to the visit.  He told me the date of his next visit, and we made arrangements for me to go with him and Sr Julian Baird, who usually accompanied him.

I made two or three prison visits with Fr Petrasko.  Fr Petrasko was a truly holy priest, who definitely had a personal relationship with Jesus.  He said Mass very reverently.  I witnessed firsthand the compassion and charity with which he treated the inmates, and the effusive gratitude that they expressed to him.  He also treated the prison guards with due respect, addressing each of them as “Officer.”  The casual conversations we shared as we traveled to-and-from the prison also revealed his personal holiness and self-giving love.  (Unfortunately, I don’t remember any of his homily at the Baptism Mass).

Because of his holiness, I’m guessing that Fr Petrasko is in heaven now.  The 30th anniversary of his ordination was this month.  Since his life on earth was so short, he probably wants to continue his priestly ministry from heaven.  This makes him an appropriate intercessor, a saint who probably eagerly awaits our requests for his help.  I suppose his intercession might be most efficacious for those who have cancer, like he did.  (Also, for priests we know who need healing or help!)

So, as we pray for the daughter of that man at the Prayer Breakfast, don’t hesitate to enlist Fr Petrasko’s help from heaven.


Men’s Prayer Breakfast — May 25th

May 18, 2013

See update below…..


prayerbreakfastThe Guardian of the Redeemer Catholic Men’s Fellowship will sponsor a Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, May 25th at Our Lady of Sorrows Hall (St Monica’s Parish) in West Wyoming.  Msgr John Esseff will speak on the theme of his latest book:  Building the Kingdom of Love:  The Triumph of the Sacred Heart.  The Prayer Breakfast will begin at 8:30 and conclude at 10:00.  Doors will open at 8:00.  There is no specific charge for the breakfast, but donations will be accepted.  All men are most welcome, and are strongly encouraged to register by Wednesday, May 22nd (it helps us ensure that we have enough food!).  Please see this flyer for registration information.

UPDATE 5-25-2013:

Photos of the event (click on photo to enlarge):

Glenn gets us started

Glenn gets us started

Fr Leo leads prayer - 1

Fr Leo leads prayer – 1

Deacon Bill reads Sacred Scripture

Deacon Bill reads Sacred Scripture

Fr Leo leads prayer - 2

Fr Leo leads prayer – 2

Msgr Esseff teaches - 1

Msgr Esseff teaches – 1

The view from the back

The view from the back

Msgr Esseff teaches - 2

Msgr Esseff teaches – 2

Msgr Esseff teaches - 3

Msgr Esseff teaches – 3

Celebrate Pentecost with the CCR this Saturday

May 15, 2013
Fr Pio Mandato FMHJ

Fr Pio Mandato FMHJ

This Saturday, May 18th, our friends in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the Scranton diocese will celebrate Pentecost with their annual half-day event at St Nicholas parish auditorium in Wilkes Barre.  All of the information is available on this flyer.  (Note that Fr Pio Mandato FMHJ is scheduled to speak at 10:00).  Since there’s no charge, and you don’t need to stay the entire day, feel free to stop by at any time, even if it’s only for an hour or so.  Come, Holy Spirit!!

Christian in the military? Don’t ask, don’t tell.

May 2, 2013

Even though the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy may no longer apply to homosexuals in the military, if this article is accurate, it may soon apply to Christians in the military.