It’s unfathomable to me that it has been 25 years since Fr. Healy died. More than anyone else, he helped me to see that God loved me and that I was part of the Church. Perhaps more importantly, however, he helped me understand that as such, I had a responsibility to others, in my immediate neighborhood, country, and the world. He was a priest, a prophet, and a human with all our flaws, sins, and idiosyncrasies.
At the time of his death from AIDS, I remember that many were shocked, even angry, that he had the disease and that he’d chosen to hide it until just weeks before his death. I knew years earlier that Fr. Healy was HIV positive. I once took him to a new physician in the hopes of changing the course of his disease once protease inhibitors came into existence. He brought a plastic bag full of medication to the appointment but then explained to the doctor that he couldn’t keep up the regimen of pills because he was so busy with his ministry. That experience of Fr. Healy has always stayed with me. He was so busy taking care of others that his own health wasn’t a priority. If I had any anger at him at the time, it was likely lessened by understanding his focus.
It has always been sad to me that the cause of his death has overshadowed his ministry and perhaps his legacy. HIs words moved me to tears each week. A recent graduate from a Catholic college, where attending Mass was something that everyone did as a means of avoiding studying for the week ahead, I’d never been so moved as I was each week, listening to Fr. Healy’s homilies. I frequently cried. I got involved. I worked on behalf of others and knew, as Fr. Healy would say, “in the depth of my being” that I belonged in God’s Church.
My uncle, a priest at that time in the Washington Archdiocese, gave me some tapes of Fr. Healy’s homilies and explained the 3 liturgical cycles. Then, more tapes were found in the old rectory and somehow were passed on to me, perhaps by Fr. Tuz. Soon parishioners who had long ago moved on to other areas, found me and provided me with still more tapes of his homilies. I’ve been digitizing and posting them according to the liturgical calendar for more than a decade and yet I still have more tapes that haven’t been heard yet.
Who would have thought that these homilies, many of which were originally delivered, more than thirty years ago, would be not only inspiring, but so helpful to those that couldn’t attend Mass due to a pandemic? Albeit a bit biased, these homilies are timeless with important truths and messages still to be heard. They are also a glimpse into the past where a greater context of now historical events can be understood.
My hope is that somehow this collection can live on in an accessible archive. Now in late-middle age, I know that I cannot manage this indefinitely so I am putting this hope out there and remaining open to what might become available.
Today, as a means of remembering a great priest and prophet, I hope you’ll join me in taking just a few minutes to remind yourself that you are a child of God…and then do something simple or extraordinary for someone else, especially the poor or marginalized, because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Frank Finamore, website creator
Fr. Healy was passionate about the need for change to address the issues in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Today, I’m asking for your support for a particular project in the village of Medor, Haiti. The church where Fr. Healy was pastor, Our Lady Queen of Peace, has a Haiti Committee that began a relationship with a sister parish, St. Joseph’s, in rural Medor, Haiti. The committee, lead by Dr. Sue Carlson (who could be sainted as far as I am concerned) has done some amazing projects including building schools, ensuring safe drinking water, reforestation, agricultural programs, hot school lunches, medical clincs, etc. The list literally goes on and on and is a testament to the relationship and love between the two parishes. You can read more about the OLQP’s Haiti Committee or follow Dr. Sue Carlson’s blog.
Currently, the Committee is working on bringing solar energy to the convent. To see the full presentation on the project click Medor. The solar power will bring electricity and needed lights to the convent so that the sisters, who have been serving this community for nearly 50 years. The light in the convent will allow them to work after hours to do needed paperwork, lesson planning, etc.
If you’ve appreciated this site and the passionate homilies, I urge you to please make a donation of any size. To do so online, follow these steps:
1. go to www.faithdirect.net
2. Click Give Now
3. Enter church code VA271
4. Click “One Time Gift”
5. Click “Haiti – St. Joseph’s Parish, Medor”
6. Enter credit card info
7. Under Optional Informaiton at the bottom of the page, enter “solar project”
8. Click “Continue” at the bottom of the page and proceed through the check out process.
If you’d prefer to write a check, you can make it payable to “Our Lady Queen of Peace Church Haiti Committee” and in the memo line write “Haiti-solar energy.” Mail it to Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 2700 19th St. South Arlington, VA 22204.
Thank you, in advance, for any support that you can provide to this solar project.