Saturday, January 05, 2008

98-Year-Old Pastor Called Home on Christmas Day
The good padre was obviously a caveman

I just saw this in a small Associated Press story in today’s paper. It appears it is an excerpt of what ran on Dec. 28th in the Kansas City Star. An edited excerpt follows:

On Aug. 1, 1944, Father Heliodore Mejak (may-yok) said his first Mass at Holy Family Church in Kansas City, Kansas For the first time in 63 years, the parish is looking for a new pastor.

Monsignor Mejak, 98, died Christmas Day, ending perhaps the longest tenure of a priest at a U.S. parish. Msgr Mejak may also have been the country’s oldest active priest, according to the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

Msgr. Mejak celebrated Mass every day (he never took a vacation) until about a week before he died, even though he had become progressively weaker, was losing his vision, and used a walker.
“He couldn’t see,” said Kevin Fogarty, an area firefighter who has been attending Holy Family Church regularly for about 10 years. “He wore ‘welding goggles’ with huge magnifiers. When he said Mass, it was obvious he was reciting from memory. He couldn’t read it at all. ”

Msgr. Mejak may be best known for his resistance to changes in the church. He was the last priest in the archdiocese to stop celebrating Mass in Latin in the wake of the so-called “reforms” of Vatican II approved in the 1960s. (I wonder what “progressive” bishop pressured him to stop.)

Msgr. Mejak did not want laymen to serve Communion (a man after prevat2’s heart) and said the Host should only be served directly from a priest’s hand to the communicant’s tongue, rather than placing it in the hand of the recipient. He wanted people to kneel rather than stand for Holy Communion.

When Vatican II called on people to shake hands or hug as a sign of peace during Mass, the good monsignor ignored it.

“He said the presence of Jesus Christ on the altar should be the focus, not each other,” Grelinger said “A sign of peace was something that distracted from the Eucharist."

Wolftracker over at the Kansas City Catholic Blog has some other interesting info on this saintly priest.


Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

The Church needs 10,000 new priest like him.

9:51 PM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

My kind of priest! God rest his soul.

11:02 PM  

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