Faith in Action Blog
Encouraging news from Wendy-Irene (Grimm ‘99) Zepeda about her sister Rosie Grimm (’10):
Rosie got out of surgery about 8 p.m. The doctor was extremely pleased; they were able to remove a great deal of the tumor. When I talked with my mom, she hadn't seen Rosie yet. Thank you so, so much for all your prayers (and please don't stop as she recovers from this all-day operation). Praised be our dear Lord for His mercy (including His mercy in surrounding us with the power of your prayers!)
Please keep praying!
Wendy-Irene (Grimm ‘99) Zepeda sends in the following update about — and prayer request for — her sister Rosie Grimm (’10):
“Can I ask for increased prayers for my sister Rosie, please, including for wise discernment for her, my parents, and her doctors about the next step in her treatment? Here’s her status update: ‘I got some scans yesterday. Although my tumors are mostly reasonably stable, the big one in my neck has grown enough that it is once more impinging on my spinal cord. That’s not all that much growth, in fact. There just isn’t a lot of space inside my spine. We are going to talk to my doctors today about treatment, which may include another surgery to get the pressure off the cord. I am really grateful to my doctors for being so on top of this. They were worried about a few funny symptoms and made me get the extra scan, so we caught it early. I’m feeling fine and am not upset about this, though prayers and encouragement would be most welcome.”
Lord, hear our prayer!
The family of Loraine (Ivers ’81) Hoonhout invites all to join them in saying the following prayer to Servant of God Frank Duff (founder of the Legion of Mary). Please pray for Mrs. Hoonhout’s healing from cancer, especially and most urgently for the removal of a malignant tumor near her spinal cord.
God our Father,
You inspired Your servant, Frank Duff, with a profound insight into the mystery of Your Church, the Body of Christ, and of the place of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in this mystery.
In his immense desire to share this insight with others and in filial dependence on Mary, he formed her Legion to be a sign of her maternal love for the world and a means of enlisting all her children in the Church's evangelizing work.
We thank you, Father, for the graces conferred on him and for the benefits accruing to the Church from his courageous and shining faith.
With confidence we beg You, that through his intercession You grant the petition we lay before You for the healing of Loraine Hoonhout in her struggle with cancer.
We ask, too, that if it be in accordance with Your will, the holiness of his life may be acknowledged by the Church for the glory of your Name, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
This Friday, November 30, will mark the first anniversary of the death of Matthew Wise (’06). To pray for the repose of his soul, an alumni priest, Rev. John Tom Mellein, O.P. (’99), will offer a private Mass at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. All who are in the area are invited. The Mass will be held at 8:00 a.m. in Caldwell Chapel.
Please continue to keep Matthew, his family, and his loved ones in prayer throughout the week.
Rose (Teichert) and Dan Grimm (both ’76) have sent along a hopeful report about the health of their daughter Rosie (’10):
Rosie had scans yesterday which showed that one of the tumors in her lungs is gone, the other three have shrunk, and the bad one in her neck seems to be being attacked (as shown by inflammation) in the way we have hoped. We are so grateful, to God and to all of you who are praying. Please keep it up, and we are praying for all of you.
Venerable Fr. Solanus CaseyMichele (Grimm ’81) Loughman, a mother of 10, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She will be undergoing more tests over the next few days, and she and her husband, Pat (’78), a member of the Greater Los Angeles Board of Regents, will be weighing her options.
The Loughmans invite all to join them in seeking the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes and Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey. Please keep Michele, her family, and her doctors in your prayers!
Starting tomorrow (Saturday, September 29), EWTN is sponsoring a Novena to the Mother of God for the United States, seeking Our Lady’s intercession and Our Lord’s blessing on the country as we approach the upcoming elections. The novena has the nihil obstat of one of the College's graduates, Rev. Gary Selin (’89), the formation director at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.
The inspiration for the Novena, says Fr. Selin, came from its author, Rev. Frederick L. Miller, S.T.D., of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland, who spent last year in sabbatical at St. John Vianney. During that time, the two priests discussed the state of the Church in America, the elections, and what Catholics could do for their country.
“I was concerned, as the year was going on, that we Catholics in the U.S. — starting with us clergy, but also the lay faithful — were not looking at the election enough from the spiritual perspective,” Fr. Selin recalls. From there, he and Fr. Miller thought of the Novena, which, in keeping with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom this summer, would “continue that spirit of prayer and fasting for our country.”
It was important to both priests, says Fr. Selin, that the Novena call upon the aid of the Blessed Mother. “I know from history and my own personal experience,” he notes, citing events from the Battle of Lepanto to the fall of Communism, “that when we invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary in time of great need — when we go to Jesus through Mary — Jesus has come through with very special graces.”
Thus the timing of the Novena to the Mother of God for the United States, which begins on the Feast of the Holy Archangels (September 29), and concludes on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7), just prior to the start of the Year of Faith (October 11). “Coming into an election, where so much is on the line for the Catholic Church and for our country with regards to attacks against religious liberty, the attack against the beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony and even the marital act,” Fr. Selin explains, “we’re callings upon God through the intercession of Mary for very special graces on our country.”
Fr. Selin adds, however, that the act of transforming a nation must begin with our own, interior conversions. “First and foremost in this whole issue of the election, we have to start with ourselves, asking: How have we been faithful to God’s commands? How have we lived a deep prayer life, avoiding sin, growing in holiness and in our dedication to the Holy Eucharist? Then our public acts will be a beautiful overflowing of that commitment of faith.”
Fr. Selin has long had a devotion to the Blessed Mother. His senior thesis at the College was titled, “Mary: Archetype of the Church.” The Mother of God, he says, “has always been close to me in my vocational discernment and leading me here.” Likewise, she must play a role in the future of the nation: “Work has to be done in the public sphere — and that’s the work of the lay faithful to get out there, and we priests have to preach and encourage — but we cannot forget Our Lady.”
An update on Rosie Grimm (’10), courtesy of one of her sisters:
“Please continue to pray for my sister Rosie. She had scans recently. Here’s her Facebook post: ‘Mostly good news: The tumor in my neck is no worse and possibly better, and the tumors in my lungs are either stable or growing pretty slowly. The bad news is that the trial I want to get into has not opened yet, and they aren’t sure when it will open, though hopefully it won’t be too long. Since I’m asymptomatic, we have a little time to play with, but of course I’d like to get start ASAP. So please pray that the approval for the trial comes through quickly.’ She’s heading back East on Monday to get an initial screening for a trial, as a first step. Thanks for your prayers, so much!”
Please continue to keep Rosie and her family in your prayers.
Jesus, I trust in You!
Our Lady, Health of the sick, pray for us.
St. Rita, pray for us.
Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us.
Blessed Miguel Pro, pray for us.
Bill Dunn (’97) has written to inform us of the death of Paul Meyer (’94):
“I have just learned the sad news that Paul Meyer died recently of a very sudden illness. He had apparently gone to the doctor about three weeks ago after not feeling well, and was sent to the hospital. About a week later he died from a rare and very aggressive form of cancer.…
“Paul and his wife, Kimberlie, were active members of their parish in the diocese of Tulsa, and in recent years they had adopted four children from China in order to provide a Catholic home for them, and also to help promote the culture of life in a country that has state-mandated abortions.
“A group of us in the Tulsa diocese have been organizing a classical studies program for homeschoolers which is to begin this fall, and Paul was going to serve as our math and science teacher. Paul and Kimberly were homeschooling their children while Paul worked as a freelance software engineer and also as a physics teacher at a local college.
“Paul was a kind and humble man, and in his quiet way he radiated a deep and abiding joy which was rooted in his Catholic faith. Paul had a good heart; he loved God above all things, and he always tried to help others to grow closer to God in their own journey through time.”
A full obituary is available on the website of Tulsa’s Fitzgerald Funeral Home.
Please pray the repose of Paul’s soul, and for the consolation and well-being of his wife, Kimberlie, and their four children.
Rosie Grim (’10) reports via Facebook that she is applying to participate in several clinical trials for an anti-cancer drug that is not yet on the market. She may also require another surgery on the tumor in her neck. Still, she says, “I’m feeling fabulous and have started jogging.”
On Wednesday she left with her father and brother for a pilgrimage to Lourdes, England (where she will visit sites related to Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman), and Cascia (home of her beloved patroness, St. Rita). Please keep their intentions your prayers.
In addition to their prayers to Bl. John Henry, the Grimms have also invited friends to join them in the following devotion to St. Rita:
+Dear Rita, model wife and widow, you yourself suffered in a long illness showing patience out of love for God. Teach us to pray as you did. Many invoke you for help, full of confidence in your intercession. Deign to come now to our aid for the relief and cure of Rosie. To God all things are possible; may this healing give glory to the Lord. Amen.
+Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer notified alumni last night that after a week-long search for John Morris (’03), a freshman at the College in 1999-2000, authorities had discovered his body.
Mark asked alumni to “pray for the repose of John’s soul and for the comfort and solace of his family and friends during this very difficult time.” He added that “Rev. Hildebrand Garceau (’78), one of the College’s chaplains, will say a Mass for John next Thursday, June 14 at 5:20 p.m. in the College’s Chapel. Of course, everyone is welcome to attend.”
May his soul, and those of all the faithfully departed, rest in peace.
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer has sent out this prayer request for John Morris (’03):
“Please pray for the safety of John Morris ('03) who has been reported missing since May 26. He went missing after spending the day with friends at a baseball game in his home town of Durham, North Carolina. He was going to make a quick stop at the grocery store on his way home, but never came home. His roommate and friends say this is ‘completely out of character’ for John and are very worried about him.”
The alumni of Thomas Aquinas College are joining together to say the following novena to St. Anthony of Padua for for John's return:
O wonderful St. Anthony, glorious on account of the fame of your miracles, and through the condescension of Jesus in coming in the form of a little child to rest in your arms, obtain for me of His bounty the grace which I ardently desire from the depths of my heart. For the safe return of John Morris:
You who were so compassionate toward miserable sinners, regard not the unworthiness of those who pray to you, but the glory of God that it may once again be magnified by the granting of the particular request: for the safe return of John Morris, which I now ask for with persevering earnestness. Amen
Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!Read more
After a long struggle with cancer, Mary Kathleen Lear (Katie) Gates — mother of Nora (Bulcher ’04) and mother-in-law of Peter Bulcher (’05) and tutor John Baer — died this past Saturday. A mother of 8 children and the grandmother of 29, Mrs. Gates was a pioneer in homeschooling and a member of several choirs. Her complete obituary is available via the Ventura County Star.
A rosary for Mrs. Gates will be held on Friday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at St. Sebastian Church, 235 N. Ninth Street in Santa Paula, Calif. A funeral will be held on Saturday, June 9, at 10:30 a.m., also at St. Sebastian. Interment will follow at Santa Paula Cemetery.
Please pray for the repose of Mrs. Gates' soul and the consolation of her family.
Please keep praying for Rosie Grimm (’10). The latest report from her family reads:
“We didn't get good news ... the nodules in Rosie’s lungs have grown somewhat. They’ll be meeting next week to discuss the next step. Thanks, as ever, for your prayers ... this is hard news, but we know God has a plan.”
The Grimms asks that friends seek the intercession of Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, on Rosie’s behalf, through the following prayer:
O God, who bestowed on the Priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow your kindly light and find peace in your Church; graciously grant that, through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and images into the fullness of your truth, and that Rosie be speedily and completely healed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
God our Father,
your servant John Henry Newman
upheld the faith by his teaching and example.
May his loyalty to Christ and the Church,
his love of the Immaculate Mother of God,
and his compassion for the perplexed
give guidance to the Christian people today.
We beg you to grant the favors we ask
through his intercession
so that his holiness may be recognized by all
and the Church may proclaim him a saint.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
William Sockey (’75) and the National Pilgrim Virgin StatueAmong the many Thomas Aquinas College alumni who are actively defending religious freedom in the face of the HHS Mandate is Bill Sockey (’75) — and he is doing it through prayer.
As the Custodian of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue, blessed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI and given to the United States by the Bishop of Fatima in 1967, Mr. Sockey brings the statue to dioceses across the United States. In this capacity and with the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF), he has for the last three years promoted a campaign urging Catholics to make reparation for the sins of the country and to pray daily for national peace.
Now, as a consequence of the HHS mandate, a new intention has been added to this prayer — as requested by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — for the preservation of religious freedom. So far over 25,000 new members of WAF have pledged to say this prayer and make this reparation every day.
The prayer is:
“O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee and I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love thee.
“O my Jesus, I accept and bear with submission whatever suffering I will encounter today for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and as reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Previously Mr. Sockey served as the vice-president of Catholics United for the Faith and the World Apostolate of Fatima as well as the executive director of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, the Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning, and the St. Thomas More Center for Catholic Family Life.
For more information about the World Alliance of Fatima — including arranging a visit of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue to your diocese, see — www.wafusa.org.
Charles GoodrichOn May 14, 2008, two-year-old Charles Goodrich, son of Kathleen (Ellis ’99) and Glen (’00), was killed when struck by an out-of-control pickup truck whose driver and passengers were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This Friday the Goodrich family and many of their friends will gather by Charles’ gravesite, as they do every year around the anniversary of his death, to pray — for the three people in that truck.
Mrs. Goodrich explained this tradition in a Facebook posting last year:
“This coming May 14 is the third anniversary of my son Charles’ death. Most of my friends know this, though I suspect that some of you never heard about it, so really quickly, the bare facts are these:
“I was walking to the store pulling my two and a half year old son in a wagon, carrying my four-month-old infant in a baby carrier. At about 2:15 on a Wednesday afternoon, a couple of known gangsters were joyriding through the school zone I was walking through. The man at the wheel, Roberto Villanueva, two weeks out of prison on parole (and unlicensed) was high on cocaine. The owner of the pickup truck, Albert Garcia, was in the passenger seat drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle. Cindy Nunez, a mutual friend, was in the back seat. Horseplay in the front caused the truck to jump the curb, striking Charles’ wagon and killing him pretty much instantly. The driver regained control and sped away.
“Later on, Albert Garcia pleaded guilty (against the advice of his attorney) to various charges, and asked for full sentencing - he was the one most responsible for the accident. He is serving the third year of his 20 year sentence. Roberto Villanueva, a previous offender, negotiated a little more, but did eventually plead guilty to various charges, and was sentenced to seven years. According to his attorney at the time of sentencing, he has reconnected with his Catholic faith while in prison, and has requested Masses to be said for our family on the anniversary. Cindy Nunez, I don’t know about, but her daughter came to Charles’ visitation and abjectly apologized - their family is very broken.
“So here is what I want. The anniversary is TAC Graduation Day, and most of you will be busy. So on Friday, May 13, I’ll be at the Santa Paula cemetery with my children, at 3pm, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for those three poor children of God. When people tell me they are praying for me, I appreciate it very much, and I know that it is the only thing pulling me through. But I am entirely wrapped in love and grace, surrounded by friends and family, supported by strangers and strengthened by the sacraments. These three people are vilified, tormented by guilt, and in probably the last place on earth where they can find comfort. They need your prayers.
“Christ said ‘Today I am sending you with My message of mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my Merciful Heart.’
“Come to the cemetery and join me in prayer, if you like, or if you can’t be there, pray wherever you are. If you don’t have time for the whole chaplet, pray this prayer: ‘O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus, as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.’
“I’m not tagging or targeting anyone in this note. I would like as many people to know about it as possible, because I want as many prayers offered for their conversion and peace as possible, but I don’t want to hold myself up as a model of anything at all. Share it with anyone that you think would like to know about it —- share this note on your Facebook profile, send it to your e-mail list, whatever you like. But please pray for this dear intention of mine.”
For those who are interested in joining the Goodriches in their prayers this year, Mrs. Goodrich recently sent out the following invitation:
“Some people have asked me if we are doing anything public to make Charles’ feast day this year. As I did last year, I’ll be going over to the Santa Paula Cemetery on the Friday before (that’s this Friday, May 11) at 3pm to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the needs of the three people who were in the truck that day. Anyone is welcome to join me, in body or in spirit, at that hour or at whatever hour of the day they are able to join in. Feel free to pass this message on to anyone who may be interested.”
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Update: A funeral will be held at Cross Winds Church, 6444 Sierra Court, Dublin, Calif. at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 14.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of David Ellis (’83) and the consolation of his wife, Carol, and their family. Recently retired from the Alameda (Calif.) Police Department, Officer Ellis died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday. He was the brother of Sabrina Bjornstrom (’79) and Jennifer Tenney (’85).
For most of his 30 years as a policeman, both in Alameda and previously in Oakland, Officer Ellis was assigned to motorcycle units, serving as the lead instructor for the motorcycle training of new traffic officers. Over the years he received numerous awards for his work, including being named Alameda’s Officer of the Year in 2009.
May his soul, and those of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.
This good news from Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer (’99):
“Rosie has finished radiation, and is continuing with immunotherapy. She has had no significant side effects and is feeling well and happy. Thanks for all of the prayers, and please keep it up!”
“Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen, He is not here; see the place where they laid Him.”
At Pope Benedict XVI’s Easter Vigil Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, the honor of proclaiming the above words belonged to an alumnus of the College, Rev. Mr. Francis Marotti (’07), who chanted the Gospel (Mk. 16:1-7). The proclamation can be found at the 96:30 mark in the video below:
Rev. Mr. Marotti, a transitional deacon from the Diocese of Kalamazoo (Mich.), is currently studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. In January he was honored to chant the Gospel at the papal Mass of the Epiphany.
Please remember to pray for Deacon Marotti who, God willing, will be ordained to the priesthood on June 23.
On the morning of Tuesday, April 4, friends, family, and many members of the Thomas Aquinas College community gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles for the funeral Mass of longtime tutor and alumnus Michael J. Paietta (’83).
Mr. Paietta died late in the evening of March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, 16 days after entering the hospital with symptoms suggestive of a heart attack. Just prior to his passing, he received the last rites, including absolution and an apostolic blessing, from College chaplain Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O.Praem (’78).
Fr. Garceau also served as one of the concelebrants at Mr. Paietta’s funeral Mass, joined at the altar by fellow chaplain, Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P, and a former head chaplain, Rev. Michael Perea, O.Praem. The principal celebrant was Monsignor Kevin Kostelnik, pastor of Our Lady of the Angels, where Mr. Paietta’s mother, Kay, is a parishioner. Following the Mass, Mr. Paietta's remains were interred in the Cathedral's crypt mausoleum, alongside his late father and brother.
Delivering the first eulogy was Daniel Paietta, who recalled his oldest brother’s great love of literature and encyclopedic memory. “Michael was the first Thomas Aquinas College graduate to get a perfect score on the GRE — in English, of course,” he remarked. “When one of the tutors asked him if he really knew all of the vocabulary words, he said, ‘Well, no, I did have to guess on one of them.”
Mr. Paietta’s former Thomas Aquinas College roommate and colleague on the faculty, Dr. Glen Coughlin, offered a second eulogy. “Michael was no scholar interested merely in the opinions and actions of men for their own sakes. His life was a pursuit of truth itself. His soul turned naturally to the nature of things, to the consideration of how we should live, to the highest and the best things, to the infinite good that Dante speaks of,” said Dr. Coughlin. “He was not content to know that someone else knew something or thought something. He wanted to know for himself.”
A Lifelong Scholar
From even his earliest days, Michael Paietta had a zeal for obtaining knowledge and a passion for sharing it with those around him. After serving a number of years in the U.S. Navy and briefly attending the University of California, Los Angeles, he enrolled at Thomas Aquinas College as a 25-year-old freshman in 1979. He graduated from the College in 1983 and went on to the University of Notre Dame, where he did his graduate and doctoral work.
In 1989 Mr. Paietta returned Thomas Aquinas College as a member of the teaching faculty. “Mike was noteworthy for his love of literature, music, and baseball,” observed his colleague of many years, President Michael McLean. “Not only did he love these things, he sought to understand everything about them. Above all, though, he was devoted to understanding the thought of our patron, St. Thomas, and was particularly sure that discussions with our founders, Ron McArthur, Jack Neumayr, and Mark Berquist, would help him in that pursuit.”
Dr. Paul O’Reilly, a longtime fellow tutor and the College’s vice president for development, offered a personal reflection saying, “Mike had a tremendous wit and a remarkable memory. We all wanted him on our trivial pursuit team. And those who had him on their team were on the winning side.” Reflecting on Mr. Paietta’s life, Dean Brian T. Kelly added, “Mike cared deeply about his students and mingled with them frequently in the dining hall. His deep-rooted sense of loyalty was manifest in his abiding love for the Catholic Church, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He will be sorely missed.”
This sense of loss, however, was perhaps most poignantly expressed by an anonymous student who shares his late tutor’s love of poetry:
If only Life might slow its hurried pace,
That all the grief might pour like winter rain
From out the soul that weeps with hidden face
And feels the greatest depths of human pain.
I ask not end, but merely wish for pause,
As babes at nighttime cry out for the sun,
To have an end to sorrows without cause,
To weep when death begins and life is done.
I should have known him better than I do,
Though humor, knowledge, wisdom did I see,
And this enlightened, now I see the true,
I know he’s gone and feel but misery.
We’ll miss you, less as tutor than as friend,
We’ll love you, Mike Paietta, to the end.
A memorial Mass for Mr. Paietta will be offered at a later date in the College’s chapel of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Details will be provided on the Thomas Aquinas College website when they are available. Please keep Mr. Paietta and his family in your prayers.
May his soul and those of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
The funeral Mass for longtime tutor and alumnus Michael J. Paietta (’83) will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 3, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Mr. Paietta’s mother is a parishioner there, and he will be interred in the mausoleum underneath the Cathedral alongside his father and brother.
Directions and Parking: See the Cathedral’s website for directions. There are garage entrances on both Temple or Hill streets. Although the posted parking fee is $16 per hour, funeral attendees will receive validation for a flat rate of $5 (the rate the Cathedral has contracted with the owners of the garage). A brunch/reception will immediately follow the funeral in one of the Cathedral’s function rooms.
Information about the College’s memorial Mass for Mr. Paietta in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel will be posted when it is available. Please continue to keep Mr. Paietta and his family in your prayers.
Thomas Aquinas College tutor and alumnus Michael J. Paietta (’83) died late in the evening of March 25, 16 days after entering the hospital with symptoms suggestive of a heart attack. Just prior to his passing, he received the last rites, including absolution and an apostolic blessing from College chaplain Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O.Praem (’78).
Mr. Paietta served for a number of years in the U.S. Navy and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, for a short time before enrolling at Thomas Aquinas College as a 25-year-old freshman in 1979. He graduated from the college in 1983 and went on to the University of Notre Dame, where he did his graduate and doctoral work. In 1989 Mr. Paietta returned to the College as a member of the teaching faculty.
Mourning the loss of his one-time student and colleague of many years, President Michael McLean said, “Mike was noteworthy for his love of literature, music, and baseball. Not only did he love these things, he sought to understand everything about them. Above all, though, he was devoted to understanding the thought of our patron, St. Thomas, and was particularly sure that discussions with our founders, Ron McArthur, Jack Neumayr, and Mark Berquist, would help him in that pursuit.”
Reflecting on Mr. Paietta’s life, Dean Brian T. Kelly noted, “Mike was a unique and beloved member of the Thomas Aquinas College community. He cared deeply about his students and mingled with them frequently in the dining hall. In class and at meals, he displayed charity, good cheer, and an extremely dry wit. Mike taught a range of courses in philosophy, theology, science, and mathematics. But he especially loved the arts; I trusted implicitly his views on literature and music, and happily followed many of his movie recommendations. His deep-rooted sense of loyalty was manifest in his abiding love for the Catholic Church, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He will be sorely missed.”
Dr. Paul O’Reilly, a longtime fellow tutor and the College’s Vice President for Development, added a personal reflection saying, “Mike had a tremendous wit and a remarkable memory. We all wanted him on our trivial pursuit team. And those who had him on their team were on the winning side.”
Funeral arrangements for Mr. Paietta are pending. A memorial Mass will be offered at a later date in the college’s chapel of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Details will be provided on the College’s website when they are available.
Please keep Mr. Paietta and his family in your prayers.
May his soul and those of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
News from Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer:
Mike’s doctors are optimistic that his aorta will heal itself over time, but they have found that his kidneys are not functioning properly and that he also has pneumonia. Mike has been sedated this past week and is receiving dialysis daily, but the doctors hope to diminish the sedative and have him sit up so as to improve his breathing. The doctors are not being very forthcoming at this point, though they do say that Mike is not getting worse. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Thank you!
- Related: Prayers for Michael J. Paietta (’83)
News from Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer:
Rose Grimm (’76), Rosie’s mother, says, “Thank you all so much for your prayers for Rosie. Finally we have started treatment — radiation for the remaining tumor in her neck and immunotherapy, which attempts to stimulate her own immune system to kill the cancerous cells. Please pray for Rosie to dodge the possible serious side effects which can be associated with both of these treatments, especially the immunotherapy. Most people don’t get them — we want her to be in that group. We are feeling the effect of your prayers on our spirits and our sense of peace — and I know Rosie’s treatment will go so much better because of them. Thank you so much.”
Additionally please pray for Rosie’s pain to be relieved. Thank you!
- Related: Prayers for Rosie Grimm (’10)
Please pray for an alumnus and member of the College’s teaching faculty, Michael J. Paietta (’83). Michael was admitted to the hospital Friday, March 9, with symptoms suggestive of heart attack. He was admitted to the ICU, and he took a turn for the worse the next night. His current condition is listed as “guarded.” Please keep him in your prayers.
It is with heavy hearts that we pass along the following words from Sue and Mike Wise, parents of Matthew (’06), for whom so many alumni and friends of the College have been praying:
“Our beloved son, Matthew Joseph Wise, passed away peacefully at 8:27 this evening, November 30th, of heart failure. We're so grateful for all of your sincere prayers and support throughout his ordeal.
“The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away ... blessed be the name of the Lord!
“Matthew, we are so honored to have been your parents. We love you honey! We will always love you!”
Please pray for the repose of Matthew’s soul and the consolation of his family.
Last night Jonathan Monnereau (’05), president of the Thomas Aquinas College Alumni Association, sent out the following urgent prayer request for Matthew Wise (’06):
“As most of you have probably heard or read by now, alumnus Matthew Wise (’06) is suffering from a serious case of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
“As of today’s date, he has been in the ICU for 46 days. Those of you who have been following his condition on Facebook know that it has been an ongoing roller-coaster ride. Needless to say, prayers are crucial right now
“Therefore, as a united body, I would ask those of you so inclined, to join me in praying a Novena in honor of the Immaculate Conception. Beginning today, we will conclude on the vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.”
Please join us in praying this Novena.
Thank you to everyone who has been keeping Matthew Wise (’06) in prayer! Matthew has been hospitalized for three weeks due to a lung infection and resulting complications. Doctors have performed numerous procedures and operations, but he remains in intensive care, heavily sedated. His family is asking for prayers through the intercession of St. Gerard and Bl. Francis Seelos.
For regular updates on Matthew’s status, please see the Prayers for Matthew Wise Facebook page, established by his Class of 2003 classmate Steve Six. Please continue to pray for Matthew’s recovery and for the strength and well-being of his family.
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer sends along an update on the status of Matthew Wise (’06):
Matthew Wise ’06 has a very serious case of pneumonia. He's in the ICU and in an induced coma. His pneumonia has not been responding to antibiotics. Here is a message that I just received from Matthew's Mother:
The cardiologist wants to do a heart-lung procedure on Matthew as soon as possible. So, right now. The kids and I just got home from the hospital and are going to kneel down and pray during the operation (it will be done in his room, he is too sick to be moved). Asking for angels to guide the doctor's hands, for healing for Matthew, intercession of the saints, and for peace for Mike and Anthony who are up there right now with him. Mike will probably post an update under my name as soon as he can. Thanks so much for all of your prayers! Please join us in extra prayers during this heart-lung procedure!
Please keep Matthew and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
For more, please see the Prayers for Matt Wise Facebook Group.
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer sends along the following prayer request:
Matthew Wise (’06) has a very serious case of pneumonia. He's in the ICU and in an induced coma. His pneumonia has not been responding to antibiotics. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
For more, please see the Prayers for Matt Wise Facebook Group.