St. Patrick's Appeal

St. Patrick's Appeal

As many of you know, Oblates often refuse to retire. We work until the Lord calls us home, and that is exactly what Fr. Patrick Healy, O.M.I. is doing. As you might suspect, Fr. Patrick is a fellow Irish Oblate. I'm so proud of this man and everything he represents - for both the Oblates and the Irish. As St. Patrick's Day approaches I'd like to tell you a little about Fr. Patrick and the great work he's accomplished.

Fr. Patrick was born into a large Irish Catholic family in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1921. He was ordained an Oblate priest on June 2, 1947. His Oblate ministry has taken him around the world.

Father Patrick's first assignments were to teach here in the United States. After that, Fr. Patrick was assigned to the Oblate seminary in Tokyo, Japan as the school's first rector. He also founded the Oblate Language School in Tokyo. Cardinal Francis Spellman selected Fr. Patrick to be his military vicar in Japan. It was the start of his service in the military which continues today.

In 1965, during a sabbatical from his overseas work, Fr. Patrick was flying from Boston to Newark, N.J. when his plane hit another at 12,000 feet. The plane crashed into a farmer's field with the pilot and several passengers being killed.

Father Patrick had to spend several months recuperating from his injuries but suffered no permanent damage...perhaps the luck of the Irish was in his favor? He decided that with his "second life" he could take on any challenge. So he joined the Army, and went to war. He served two tours of duty as a chaplain during the Vietnam War. Fourteen times he anointed men who now have their names permanently etched on the Vietnam Memorial. Despite the horrors of war, Fr. Patrick often saw amazing compassion among the soldiers.

After the war, Fr. Patrick continued to work as a military chaplain both far (Mannheim, Germany) and near (U.S. Military Academy at West Point). He also spent a few years in parish ministry for the Oblates in Miami.

Father Patrick could have very easily retired and enjoyed a leisurely life at this point. But instead, he began a new "career" as a chaplain at Soldiers' Homes along the East Coast. Currently he is a chaplain at the Chelsea Solders' Home in Chelsea, Massachusetts. There are about 500 veterans living at Chelsea, spanning World War II to Afghanistan.

"Here we have many men that have no family left. But it is not a sad place. It is filled with warmth and family, a wonderful place for someone to spend their last days," said Fr. Patrick.

As one of the oldest Oblates in the world, Fr. Patrick knows that his last days are probably not too far away. But overall his health is good, and he plans on ministering to veterans for as long as possible. "At age 96, I am aware that my time is short," said Fr. Patrick. "On the day I receive my summons home, I will whisper truthfully in a humble voice, 'Lord, I'd do it again.'"

St. Patrick's Day Prayer Petitions

I will send your intentions to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows so that your needs will be lifted up in prayer during our special St. Patrick Novenas.

Submit a Prayer Request


St. Patrick's Devotional Gifts

              

St. Patrick's Day Card

St. Patrick's Votive Candles

   

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