January 9, 2015

RIP: Fr. Joel Daniels, OFM Cap.

I got to know Fr. Joel when I was in the parish and he moved into the adjacent senior friars' residence. I found in him a sort of kindred spirit on a certain level. Since he was typically easy to find and very willing, for a while I adopted him as a confessor. He didn't care for visitors in his room, so he would come to my room to hear my confession. All I had to do was lay out my purple stole for him. Fr. Joel was the source of this 'From my Confessor' post. He was also my first confessor to use the longer post-absolution prayer:
May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, whatever good you do and suffering you endure, heal your sins, help you to grow in holiness, and reward you with eternal life. Go in peace.
I love that prayer. The Irish OFM at the Lateran, to whom I go sometimes these days, also uses it.

Fr. Joel once told me how he got permission to go away to study counseling. The pastor of the parish where he was went away for a week, and asked Fr. Joel to look after a certain parishioner. During the week, she had a mental breakdown. When the pastor (who was also the religious superior) returned, Joel pointed this out as evidence that he needed training in counseling.

One time in the middle of the night there was a knock on my door. It was Fr. Joel. He was concerned about a very elderly friar. He had overheard this friar asking for me late at night but then had also heard his health aide tell him that it was too late to call Fr. Charles, that he should go to sleep, and that they could call Fr. Charles in the morning. Fr. Joel was concerned that perhaps this friar knew he was near death and wanted me to hear his confession. So down I went to the elderly friar's room, where he was half asleep and recognized me right away. Oh good, he said, it's you, Charles. He then went on to tell me that he wasn't feeling well and asked if I could open the church for him in the morning and take the morning Mass. Now this friar's days of opening churches and taking morning Masses had long since passed into history, but even in the partial confusion of his old mind, he was still a solicitous pastor of souls. I said that I would be happy to cover for him in the morning so he could rest. I went back to my room fairly pleased with myself, having relieved the anxiety of two of my senior brothers with one little nocturnal visit.

Read Fr. Joel's obituary here.

Requiescat in pace.

1 comment:

Louis M said...

Eternal rest grant unto Father Daniels, o Lord...