Sunday, September 02, 2007

Holy priest in a small town near Omaha....

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This is a holy man, a holy priest who loves Truth, Sacred Tradition, Our Lady and Holy Mother Church. Meet Fr. Vandewalle. I've been blessed and grateful to have met him over the past 2 years as I attend my adopted "sister parish" St. Joseph, in Colon NE.
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I cherish his friendship now. His homilies "rock" too! He's so funny, witty, and subtly his wisdom and insight come through and keeps the listener listening. A gift from God and so pleasantly shared with others through his priestly heart and soul so joyfully lived out in his life.
I wish you could all visit his parish and be as blessed as I am so often. He is in the wonderful Lincoln NE diocese. The support system of the many fine priests in that diocese is phenomenal and the joy with which they live out their faith is extraordinary. He gave me almost 2 hours of his precious time last Sunday! We had the most delightful conversation. I took him a chicken dinner from Bakers (Omaha supermarket) deli and he was so appreciative. He said he'd have to save it for Monday night as he was going out with some friends just after we visited. He kindly listened to me talk about our journey Home to Rome, jotting books down and other information that came to him while we were talking. He also gave me some suggestions for another friend, Fr. G. who's struggling with 'small town parish' politics. Pray for our priests. They need good support from other confrères and as I posted a while back, they need Veronicas and Simons in their midst to help them on their difficult path to join Christ at Calvary, to die... spending and consuming themselves for souls.

As Our Blessed Mother's heart breaks for her priests, who are struggling, she also gives them courage and graces them to press on with fortitude. They need to be reminded to consecrate themselves to Our Mother. To not let anger, frustration or fear get a foothold. Many are under attack, and it's mostly (and very sadly) by their own flocks. This needs to be addressed and the flocks need to realize what their harsh and critical words can do to the heart and soul of their shepherds. I've been sharing in the heartache with our Blessed Mother the past 4 weeks or so. It has been a emotional roller coaster of sorts, so much sorrow and yet the most profound joy in the midst of it.

Just yesterday at the Holy Family Shrine we started a 'once a month' Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament/Benediction for vocations and for priests that will be the first Saturday of the month with a priest or deacon giving us our Lord in exposition. This is for the youth in Catholic High schools across the metro area and will be a year of intense prayer for them, so that the vocation of priesthood can be explained to them, as well as educating the parents of young boys to encourage them in helping their sons to consider the priesthood. So many parents are ill informed and what with the scandal, the priesthood is under such attack that many are not willing to help their sons even consider that God may be calling them to be holy priests.

Pray with us, when the first Saturday comes around, that Our Lady will inflame our hearts with a love for priests and a desire to see vocations to the priesthood flourish among the hearts of our young boys and young men. Pray that the call to serve our Lord as his priests will grow. Pray that Omaha and surrounding areas (and your city) will become a well-spring of seminarians in love with Holy Mother Church and will spread that love to their parishes and bring many lost souls back to the safety of the Catholic Church.

Fr. Andrew Sohm who said Mass yesterday has been burdened for some time to see this action come to fruition, and now with our Holy Family Shrine and Our Lady's presence there, as well as Papa JPII's, he's seeing it start. We're not to be concerned right now about 'technicalities' and 'what to do' but we're to just be PRAYING, to be in PRAYER for one year, fervent diligent prayer. This prayer from a few committed prayer warriors will be the basis and foundation that will then be the fecund ground where a "garden of fertile hearts" in our boys and young adult men will blossom. Growing in understanding as they will then seek, and answer the call of God in, on and for their lives. And one day, there will be many more like Fr. Vandewalle serving the Lord as faithful, holy priests hand picked by Jesus himself! A priest forever in the line of Melchizedek.

Thanks everyone.



Maryella said...

Hi Susie!

Yes, let's pray for our priests in the spirit of St. Veronica. I recall hearing from our guide in Rome that Veronica's veil is behind her statue in St. Peter's Basilica. She exists per the spoken Word, or rather Tradition. Thank God for her example to be the lone person willing to help the Priest. We CAN do so, too!

God bless you for all that you do!


Maryella said...

Hi Susie -

Yes, let's pray for our priests in the spirit of St. Veronica. I recall on our pilgrimage to Rome that one of our guides mentioned that her veil is behind her statue in St. Peter's Basilica. Veronica exists! Thank God for the spoken Word, or rather Tradition, which gives us the example of one woman willing to comfort the Priest while He carried His Cross. We CAN to do so, too!

Thanks again for all that you do, and God bless you!


Joyful Catholics said...

Hi Maryella! What a joy to see your comment! I'm glad it finally worked! : )
Thank you for all that you do, too, dear friend. I am forever grateful to have met you on that blessed pilgrimage to the Eternal City.