Monday, June 17, 2013

Standing for Father Bob

 Saint Colman Prayer Service 17 June 2013
Father Begin started with a short introductory prelude in good humour. He was met by a standing ovation by more than nine hundred friends. They sang and prayed. They sang a Litany of Saints to pray for them.
Father Robert Begin authored a letter of mandatory retirement, but he requested to continue as pastor of St. Colman's Cleveland. He and the parish were astonished by the bishop's refusal of the request for continuation. Remember, this is a bishop who has repeatedly complained of a priest shortage, and has used that shortage as rationale for several actions.

Fr. Begin has been a priest of great integrity, and a loyal loving servant of Jesus Christ for seven times seven years, the last nineteen at St. Colman's. He has served with genuine humility and courage. No priest in the dioceses is so universally loved and respected by his, and other parishes' parishioners as is he.
Parishioners by ones, twos, and threes lined up to offer testimonials on what Father Bob means to them and the community. Each was followed by a chorus of Amens. Remarkably, and with the utmost naïve charity they referred respectfully to Bishop Lennon; but they were certain he was in error in this matter. Father Robert Begin is the man they want and need as pastor. They all were in agreement that Saint Colman is a place where the door is always open, and this shepherd is a welcoming gatekeeper.
Father Begin was joined by five priests at the end of the service to receive a blessing.
postscriptum 5.00 p.m. 28 June: A meeting took place between Bp. Lennon and Fr. Begin this morning. Further discussion may take place.

postscriptum 6.00 p.m. 19 July: Another meeting took place, Fr. Begin's pastorate has been extended to 30 August 1914.

postscriptum 10.00 a.m. 27 July: The Cleveland Plain Dealer's judgement yesterday was "Lennon was both wise and compassionate to let him stay".

1 comment:

  1. I attended the prayer service in solidarity with
    Fr. Bob. I was deeply impressed by will of the
    people to retain Fr. Bob as their pastor. It was heartwarming to hear the woman from St. Emeric's Parish comment on how Fr. Begin held the
    people of St. Emeric's united in their Faith while they awaited the reopening of their own