Sunday, April 17, 2011

A VERY SAD DAY



I received a telephone call from my sister with some very sad news. I have always been a cradle Catholic. What's that you say? It's a guy who still doesn't eat meat on Friday and says grace before eating a "Twinkee". The sad news was that the church that I had attended for nine years or so --Saint John Vianney in Hacienda Heights had burned down the night before. It started about a few minutes after midnight and was finally contained about two and a half hours later. The fire it was discovered had been started by an arsonist. There was nine million dollars worth of damage. Gone were all the magnificent stained glassed windows. Gone was the altar and the most beautiful Christ upon the cross and worse gone was the church's million dollar pipe organ. I had attended Saint John's starting in 1984 while I was married. My ex-wife introduced it to me and I always thought it was a most beautiful church. Even after we were divorced, I continued to attend the church. In 1990, I became a parishoner and started to be active in the church. Father Joe Shea was the pastor then. In 1992, I started as the entertainment chairman of the church's big fundraising annual effort called "Early California Days". Two years later a new pastor that I knew well by the name of Monsignor John Kane arrived at the church. I had known John from his service at Saint Denis Catholic Church in Diamond Bar. Monsignor Kane was an amazing pastor. A big trouble swallowed my life in 1996 and into 199y and I found myself homeless. It was the amazing Monsignor Kane who got me to the welfare office and got me my medication for my diabetes plus he paid for my resumes to be created and paid my long overdue automobile insurance. Such an amazing man. I am very sad about this beloved church that love very much and I pray that the parishioners will found the courage, have the resolve and determination to help the church re-build. I also pray for the arsonist: what possesses a man or woman to do such a thing? The church is also special because it was here that we staged our second "Touch A Life: concert a few years ago. I wish my friends there including dear Lillian Avery the courage to see through this senseless tragedy. God bless you all! You will be in paryers daily!

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