The pastor of my parish asked Fr. Jude Dioka to form a Year of Mercy Committee to help all parishioners better understand, "unpack" and act upon ways to show mercy, in the Great Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. The late Msgr. John McCann, who I greatly respected, suggested that I be one of those members.
On Saturday evening June 4th a group of us visited, prayed with and had dinner with the elderly, retired priests of St. Pius X Residence, located on the grounds of Dominican Village, in Amityville, Long Island. We met the retired priests in their chapel and Fr. Jude led us in reciting the Rosary. Fr.Jude prayed on his knees (on the floor of the chapel) for the entire Rosary which impressed me.Afterwards we went into the dining room to have dinner with the priests. We had catered the dinner of delicious food, but I thought since it was the Year of Mercy I would do something special, so I made 40 rice balls which is my Italian specialty dish and brought them along. They enjoyed them and all the other food, as well as the delicious ice cream cake that Catherine (the chairperson of the committee) picked up at Carvel and brought to the residence. It's their favorite.
Msgr. Thomas Costa was very grateful for our visit, he said we had lifted up the spirits of the priests, including himself. He told me a little about his "call" to work with the elderly priests, he is a registered nurse. It was a great story of God leading him where he was most needed. It was a wonderful evening and a concrete way we were able to share and show mercy and kindness to the elderly priests who reside at St. Pius X Residence.