October 5, 2014

RIP: Fr. Benedict Groeschel

In  the quiet of the afternoon of the feast of St. Francis I got the news that Fr. Benedict Joseph Groeschel, CFR, had passed from this life.

I met Fr. Benedict a few times over the years: a couple of times at Capuchin events, once on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the CFR novitiate in Newark, and once at a celebration of Confirmation at The Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry, New York, at which Cardinal Dolan presided.

As I prayed for Fr. Benedict's eternal rest last night, a couple bits of gratefulness came to mind in particular. The first was for a television series he had on EWTN in the early 90s. If I remember rightly, it was called The Truths of Salvation. I don't remember if I was watching it while still a 'seeker' or if I was already baptized, but that show provided a lot of my early catechesis. The other thing I thought of was Fr. Benedict's book, The Courage to be Chaste, which was a great help to me at one time.

Requiescat in pace.


Judy Kallmeyer said...

It was sad to watch Fr. Benedict become gradually more and more frail. And you could see that his mind was failing as well. He was a giant among spiritual guides! He will be sorely missed.

Hope you had a joyous Feast Day.

Louis M said...

Nay he rest in peace. Many of his books in my library. A true giant of the faith.


for narnia said...

Great reflection of your memories of Fr. Benedict, Fr. C! I, too, have fond memories. I knew Fr. Benedict for many years (since he was a Capuchin.) one special memory was of thanksgiving dinner at Trinity Retreat house. It was very nice and, afterwards, he had us all pitch in with doing the dishes and cleaning up. Even Fr. Benedict (yes, he rolled up his sleeves and worked, too.) That was Fr. Benedict! He would never ask someone to do what he wouldn't do himself. Very down to earth. Sadly, one of the churches that I go to, refused to even mention Fr. Benedict's name in the prayers of the faithful. When inquiring as to why, the excuses were poor, to say the least, such as "why should we?," "if we pray for one priest, we'll have to pray for all of them," "he'll have enough prayers." very unChristian and sad reasons. we pray for people in other countries who we don't know, but exclude a saintly priest who was beloved and well known in the Archdiocese? sorry for seemingly complaining a bit, but it hurts and it's a sad truth of where the Catholic Church is heading. I find much exclusiveness and catering to a certain few and power hungry people in the church, but it should be the other way around. What happened to the Universal, All Are Welcome church? May God bless and have mercy on us all. rest in peace, Fr. Benedict. Pray for us!

for narnia said...

Just another reflection, especially this weekend, as we celebrate All Saints and commemorate All Souls.
With the recent passing of Fr. Benedict, some of us (maybe many of us) are praying for his intercession. I know I have been. An example, a woman I know went into a coma about a little over a week ago. She came out of the coma in a matter of several days and is doing okay. Last night, the feast of All Saints, I had the opportunity (through some kind friends) to ride down to the city to Our Lady of Good Counsel church, where every first Saturday, there's Catholic Underground (Eucharistic Holy Hour) and afterwards a concert in the church hall. Last night it was Tori Harris and her band -very good and inspiring! More importantly, however, is Adoration, which the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal pour their whole heart and soul into. They are present in very real and humble ways: providing the Sacred and inspiring music; hearing Confessions throughout and beyond Adoration. The church is always filled for Catholic Underground, with people of all ages (kids, teens, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, and beyond!) It's really the way Adoration should be - in every church. Unfortunately, in other churches, it's a handful of people and not even the Priest will stay and adore the Lord with the people. The Catholic Underground experience IS possible in every church, if only there was openness and people were willing to share their talents, i.e., provide music, etc...The Catholic Underground experience is all about adoring and praising our Lord and being reconciled with God and each other. Last night was was a beautiful experience! Imagine if Fr. Benedict and Fr. Andrew hadn't of founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Thanks be to God that they did! They are so instrumental in helping to bring souls to God in a very real way!