Tuesday was a hard day. Rick Mihaly - a spiritual father and prayer warrior in our school community - passed into eternal life.
Sometimes there isn't much to do but pray. And pray is what we did. I am not sure how else the human spirit can process such sudden reminders of our mortality. Each of Mr. Mihaly's (Andrew) classes went to adoration instead of history class. Elementary classrooms visited the oratory. We brought our Lord out into exposition, prayed the office of the dead, recited the chaplet of divine mercy, and then turned to the patron of the dying and our school's patron, St. Joseph. When the school day finished, I became even more grateful. Thank God we pray in our school.
Even before Tuesday, I began immersing myself into the 25th anniversary by looking back. The passing of Rick brought me back to when I first arrived to the area in August of 2009. Rick was a staple at daily Mass, in addition to Susan Bellavance, and if memory serves me our own Mr. Mihaly (Andrew) and Brendan Hogan were consistent altar servers for Fr. Rick. Susan and Cheryl invited me to become involved in St. Patrick parish, and it wasn't long after full time teaching that I began preparing candidates for the sacrament of confirmation.
Moments like these cause a loss of speech. I didn't know what to do but pray. The only thought I could muster up with the students on Tuesday was simple: now, it is our job to get Rick to heaven. We leave everything to the mercy of God, but that doesn't erase the undeniable bonds between the souls in heaven, the souls in purgatory, and the souls here on earth.
Therein lies the most attractive dynamic of this community, and as I think back to my arrival in August of 2009, it becomes even clearer now: everyone is invited to heaven, and just as the invitation was so generously given to me and my family, it is our duty to get as many souls into heaven as possible.
There are a host of credible witnesses here.
Rick Mihaly is a credible witness. His authentic charm and humble demeanor gifted our school with the presence of his greatest gifts: his children. He clearly longed for heaven and modeled what it means to live as an apostle to the family.
St. Faustina's extraordinary revelations from the very voice of our Lord were popularized by St. John Paul II. The messages transpired to her were left in a diary, a diary which fixates on the limitless mercy of God. This spontaneous prayer recorded by St. Faustina affirms that our hope rests only in the mercy of God, a mercy that remains beyond our comprehension but as real as the memories of loved ones who have gone before us.
O inexhaustible treasure of purity of intention which makes all our actions perfect and so pleasing to God! O Jesus, You know how weak I am; be then ever with me; guide my actions and my whole being. You who are my very best Teacher! Truly, Jesus, I become frightened when I look at my own misery, but at the same time I am reassured by Your unfathomable mercy, which exceeds my misery by the measure of all eternity. This disposition of soul clothes me in Your power. O joy that flows from the knowledge of one‟s self! O unchanging Truth. Your constancy is everlasting!
Yours Truly in Christ,