Thirty years ago this week, on September 6, 1988; Reverend Father Gerald R. Loewen went home to the Lord. As a deacon, I have the privilege of raising Fr Loewen’s presider chalice at Mass on Sunday. It is an honor to do so. It makes me think of him and the impact he had on people’s lives.
I never knew Fr Loewen. I’ve seen his picture hanging in the halls of both parishes and wondered what he was like as a pastor. His “smile” gives me the impression of a loving priest who had high expectations for his parishioners and himself. From the fond memories some of you have shared with me, he was firm but fair, kind and humble. Whether he was commenting on the proper attire for Mass, passing out report cards to students at Sacred Heart School, celebrating Mass, teaching you our Catholic faith, or being your friend – Fr Loewen loved education, loved being a priest, and loved each one of you.
Sometimes I stop at his photo on the wall and talk to Fr Loewen, or spend a few minutes of silence by his grave at St Mary on the Lake. I like to ask him how he would handle certain aspects of parish life that I deal with from day to day. I ask him to help me find the strength, the courage, and the wisdom to be the best deacon I can be in serving you. Doing all these things helps me find the inner peace and perseverance to continue on.
This Thursday, I invite you to take a moment to remember Fr Loewen. He touched the hearts of many people at both parishes, and I believe he continues to touch the hearts of those of us who pray to him for help. May eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. May perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen