Dear Sisters and Brothers of Saint Therese Parish,
It is early Tuesday morning, the deadline for this letter to be placed in this weekend’s bulletin. After our own 8:30 Mass here at Saint Therese, I’ll be going over to Most Holy Trinity in East Hampton to say the Funeral Mass for a friend of over thirty-five years, Vinnie Wolfe. You might actually know him. He and his wife Rindy owned and operated Wolfie’s Tavern across from the railroad station. Bartenders are a lot like priests -they welcome us, know our names, listen to our stories and sorrows, and keep our sins a se-cret.
I first met Vinnie through his wife Rindy when I was stationed at Saint Gabriel’s Retreat House for Youth on Shelter Island. When your ministry is kids you are always in finan-cial deficit, and always running fundraisers to keep up the good work. To make a long story short, Wolfie’s became our fundraising hub in East Hampton and Rindy and Vinnie became my dear friends.
It’s funny that this week is also the Feast of Saint Gabriel (February 27th). He was a young Passionist student, a gregarious, fun loving and trouble making (in the good way) young man who died of a lung disease in Italy at the age of 24. When Pope John XXIII canonized him a saint, he declared that he would be known in the Church as the “Patron of Rebellious Youth”. Fittingly, we Passionists named our youth retreat houses and stu-dent centers after him. And our youth ministry became to the young rebellious -which is pretty much every teenager I have ever known, including myself. One such retreat house was situated on Shelter Island for over forty years. It was there I first met the Passionists as a high school kid. The rest of the story is obvious.
So this week I am asking you for three prayers. One of course is for the Eternal Peace of Vinnie Wolfe. The second is for my own religious family and that of Saint Gabriel -the Passionists -for our life and ministry in the Church and world. And the third is for “rebellious youth”...may they always find a safe and loving home here at Saint Therese.
Blessings and peace,
Father Bob, C.P.