Faith in Action Blog
Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., reports the sad news that Matthew Reiser (’00) passed away at 5:20 this afternoon. Fr. Paul was at his hospital bedside, as was Matt’s wife, Sharon (Raskob ’99), and Matt’s mother and stepfather. “Matt died peacefully,” says Fr. Paul. “It was a great privilege to be there. We said prayers for the dying, the Rosary, sang the ‘Salve Regina.’ Along with the great difficulty of the death, there was deep consolation from the faith, and peace.”
Please pray for the repose of Matt’s soul and the consolation of Sharon and their families. “Sharon knew of everyone’s prayers and loving concern,” says Fr. Paul, “and wants everyone to know of the great consolation she is receiving from you all.”
May his soul, and those of all the faithful departed, rest in peace,
Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., has asked for prayers for Matthew Reiser (’00) and his wife Sharon (Raskob ’99), the College’s director of foundation relations. Fr. Paul visited and anointed Matthew at a local hospital this morning. “His condition is critical,” says Fr. Paul, “and he is very much in need of prayers, as well as Sharon.”
The College community is gathering this morning in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel to pray the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for Matt. Please join us in prayer!
Please pray for Mary Bridget Neumayr (’86), a graduate of the College, a member of the Washington, D.C., Board of Regents, and the eldest daughter of Founder and Senior Tutor Dr. John W. Neumayr. Miss Neumayr underwent surgery last week to remove a gastrointestinal tumor, and now awaits biopsy results.
A graduate of the Hastings College of the Law, Miss Neumayr is the senior energy counsel for the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives, where she works on energy and environmental matters. Please pray for her health, for her well-being, and for good news in her test results.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Stephen Chavez (’87), who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on November 20. He is the brother of Phillip Chavez (’86), Monica (Stoutz ’92), and Katherine (Kratz ’97). He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and their three daughters, Rachel, Sarah, and Rebekah. His funeral Mass and burial service will be held at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights, California. Date and time to be announced.
Katie Short (’80), attorney for David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, at federal court in San Francisco.
When David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress first devised his plan to expose Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting and selling the organs of aborted babies, he knew he would need legal advice. So the undercover journalist turned to San Francisco’s Life Legal Defense Foundation and its co-founder and vice president, Katie Short (’80). Mrs. Short and others helped Mr. Daleiden to prepare for the inevitable legal challenges and to navigate the myriad laws in several jurisdictions.
Katie Short (’80) with David Daleiden of the Center for Medical ProgressNearly three years later, that effort has proved to be a tremendous success, drawing national attention to Planned Parenthood’s gruesome practices and fueling a Congressional movement to strip the abortion provider of federal funding. Predictably, the abortion industry’s premier trade group, the National Abortion Federation, has struck back with a lawsuit designed to ruin Mr. Daleiden and suppress his findings. And so the young filmmaker has turned to Mrs. Short once again, asking her foundation to defend him against a fevered legal onslaught.
“We at Life Legal have fought for decades to guarantee the First Amendment rights of pro-life activists,” says Mrs. Short. “Usually this happens on a small scale right in front of an abortion mill. Now we are seeing the same drama play out on a grand scale in the public eye, as the NAF throws its resources into crushing David Daleiden’s witness. There’s really little else that they can do, as David truly has the goods on the abortion industry in general and on Planned Parenthood in particular. Only by doing our all at this crucial juncture can Life Legal keep the truth about Planned Parenthood available to the public.”
A home-schooling mother of nine children, Mrs. Short has written numerous briefs for state and federal courts, including petitions for certiorari and amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court and California Supreme Court. She co-authored the text of Propositions 73, 85, and 4, California ballot initiatives aimed at requiring parental notification before a minor can obtain an abortion. She additionally served as co-counsel in People’s Advocate v. ICOC, a suit challenging the constitutionality of the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the agency established by Proposition 71 to fund embryonic stem cell research.
Last week Mrs. Short was at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, leading Mr. Daleiden’s pro bono defense team during his deposition — one small step in what promises to be a lengthy, exhausting, and expensive legal battle. “The case has extremely high stakes for all participants,” says Mrs. Short’s husband, Bill (’80), a fellow attorney. “Please pray for Daleiden, the project, Katie, and the rest of the legal team, and encourage others to do so as well.”
Director of Alumni Mark Kretschmer (’99) passes along the following prayer requests:
- Please pray for Hui Liu (’03), who last year became deathly ill while working with the Missionaries of Charity in Mexico, and has since returned to his home in China. Sarah Kaiser (’02) reports that he is getting weaker and apparently does not have long to live.
- Please pray for Phillip Chavez (’86), who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. While his doctor tells him it is slow-growing and treatable, there is a high ranking on the Gleason index, indicating a grave concern. He is at peace and is doing his research on treatments and lifestyle changes. Soon he will have another test to see if the cancer has spread.
- Finally, please pray for Andy Shapiro, husband of Mary Ann (Halpin ’79) and father of Caecilia (’16). He is facing a major health issue with complications
Please continue to pray for the repose of David Halpin (’79), husband of Natalie (St. Arnault ’80) and father of Rose (’06) and Margaret Tannoury (’08), who died on March 6. Below is the text of his obituary, penned by the Halpins’ daughter Elizabeth:
... for God is greater than our hearts
and all is known to Him.
— 1 John 3:20
David B. Halpin, attorney at law, of Chesterton, Indiana, passed away Friday, March 6, 2015, in South Bend, Indiana. He was 63 years old. A true renaissance man, Dave lived and worked wholeheartedly for the Catholic faith and his family. He is most lovingly remembered by all who knew him. David is survived by his wife, M. Natalie Halpin (St. Arnault) and their children — David, Eugene, Rose, Margaret (Tannoury), Elizabeth, Gertrude, Thomas, James and Seth Halpin — along with their grandson, Alexander Tannoury, and son-in-law, Chadi Tannoury. Also surviving are his mother, Margaret Kathleen Halpin (Nolan), and his siblings — Philip, Patrick, Timothy, Margaret (Ortiz), Mary Ann (Shapiro), Peter, Kathleen (Santoro), and John Halpin — along with their spouses, children, and numerous extended-family members. He is preceded in death by his father, Eugene Philip Halpin.
Born to Peggy and Gene Halpin on October 21, 1951 in Seattle, Washington, Dave grew up in South Pasadena, California. His childhood recollections were of a bygone era — attending parochial grammar school with the nuns, playing the drums in a rock ’n roll garage band, working his father’s catering truck route in downtown Los Angeles and surfing the Pacific Ocean waves before it was “cool.”
After graduating from South Pasadena High School in 1969, Dave enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. It was through the Guard that he learned the importance of discipline and the necessity of higher education. He was honorably discharged in November 1974. In the fall of 1975 he began his undergraduate studies at Thomas Aquinas College in Southern California. He received his Bachelors of Liberal Arts in 1979. While attending the College he was ordained to meet his life partner and wife, Natalie St. Arnault. They married December 29, 1979, at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Denver, Colorado.
Dave graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1983. Subsequently he was sworn and admitted into various jurisdictions, courts, and state bars. He was licensed to practice law in Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, and Indiana. He was also licensed in Native Tribal Law for the Navajo Nation, White Mountain Apache, and Zuni Pueblo.
Dave and Natalie moved to Indiana in November 1991. They raised their nine children in the Chesterton/Duneland area — a semi-rural community in Indiana on the southern shores of Lake Michigan. Dave led the family by example with prayer, hard work, and quiet acts of love. He was a great storyteller and fantastic impersonator; he had a knack for making a room burst into laughter with his keen sense of humor and wit. He was an avid reader, swimmer, and bicycle enthusiast. He took pride in the Halpin homestead — sweating in his yard most summer Saturdays or snow blowing the drive in the bleak of winter.
Dave was a member of St. Patrick Parish, its Men of St. Joseph, and the Knights of Columbus. His life will be honored by family and friends with love, laughter and prayer.
In lieu of flowers, checks can be made payable to Dave’s widow, M. Natalie Halpin. Please post farewells, stories and/or condolences via the White-Love Funeral Home website.
God’s blessings and the peace of Christ to each and every one touched by Dave’s life.
David Halpin (’79), husband of Natalie (St. Arnault ’80) and father of Rose (’06) and Margaret Tannoury (’08), died unexpectedly last night. Please pray for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his family. Thank you.
Over the years a number of David’s siblings attended Thomas Aquinas College, along with many of his nieces and nephews. Funeral information will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Thanks to all for your many prayers for Abi Retallick (’14), which appear to have borne good fruit. Brigid McCarthy (’04) reports:
“Last night Mariclare Lessard (’14) messaged me on Facebook relaying that the last update she knew of was that Abi ‘got through surgery’ and was ‘doing OK.’ ...
“Abi herself sent me a message on Facebook at 7:07 a.m. this morning: ‘I really appreciate all of the prayers. The TAC Community is so wonderful.’ She went on to say that she will ‘be heading home sooner because of this, but it should be a quick recovery.’”
Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated!
Senior tutor Dr. Thomas Kaiser (’75) asks for prayers for his brother Ken (’78), husband of Patricia (Grimm ’79) and father of William (’03) and John (’07). “Ken has pancreatic cancer,” writes Dr. Kaiser. “He is seeing specialists at UCLA, and they think they have caught the disease in its early stages and it is treatable.” The family will know more about Ken’s condition next week. “In the meantime,” adds Dr. Kaiser, “please keep him in your prayers.”
Meanwhile, the College has learned that Abigail Retallick (’14), who is on a six-month mission trip at an orphanage in Brazil, is suffering from acute appendicitis. As of this writing, she is in surgery, but due to the remoteness of her location, she may have arrived at the hospital too late for effective treatment. Please join us in praying the Memorare on Abi’s behalf:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.