Sunday, December 2, 2007

Fr. Mooney

Today Dec. 2nd was Fr. Mooney's retirement day. He was a priest at my church for 14 years but he has been a priest for 52 years. He retired because of Dr's orders. As he announced his retirement at mass today he calmly explained that he has a hole in his heart and he needs to rest. Many people may think that a priest doesn't do much -maybe only works on Sunday. But it really is a very demanding job. Typically a priest works 18 hour days and is always on call for emergencies. Fr. Mooney taught history and religion at many schools and USD where is was also dean of discipline. It is true that a priest never has a family of his own but it is also true that he is a part of many, many families. Fr. Mooney always began his homilies with a joke or a story - sometimes they were funny but mostly they were corny. It didn't matter because the way he told the story always made me smile. He was very passionate about his faith. He had a very big strong voice and sometimes when he talked he would get so loud that it silenced the church.
Many times today people gave him a standing ovation for his service to the community. In one family alone, he confirmed the woman, married the couple, baptised the baby and gave her first communion and there are many stories like that.
He loved to travel and had a travel club that he organized. Every year they took a big trip to Europe and throughout the year smaller trips.
I will miss Fr. Mooney very much because he was one of the old timers who really knew his stuff and never felt obligated to anyone to say one thing or the other. I often said, "Fr. Mooney is a fatherly father", because he had that strong, confident yet caring manner.
Fr. Mooney you will be in my prayers.

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