Each November as we celebrate All Saints and then All Souls Day I, like many of you, think about who the Lord has taken home during the past year. While the pandemic has certainly caused many Americans unimaginable loss, I lost my father-in-law, Grandpa Mahoney, in early March, right before our area became affected by COVID-19.
Michael Mahoney was a loyal parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish in Groton, and although it was not easy for him and his late wife, Elaine, they sent all five of their children to Sacred Heart School and then St. Bernard.
They were committed to giving their children a Catholic education and took great pride in their achievements. When Michael became a grandfather and took on the name Grandpa Mahoney, he cherished the role, never missing a dance recital, sports event or school play or presentation. His love for his family and his church never wavered.
Throughout this pandemic, I have often thought of Grandpa Mahoney and wondered how he would have handled it. I know that his faith would have been a source of great comfort to him, as it was during all of life’s challenges. I also see Grandpa Mahoney in the faces of many of our parishioners. When I go to Mass and watch elderly people making their way to Communion, wearing their masks, I think of him.
When I hear of elderly donors to the Annual Catholic Appeal increasing their donations, because they have steady incomes while they realize that so many have lost their jobs or had their incomes drastically reduced, I think of him.
We cannot sufficiently thank all of the Grandpa and Grandma Mahoneys out there who have really reached deep into their pockets and made meaningful increased gifts to our ACA. You know who you are, and we send you our most grateful thanks.
Whenever I would visit him, Grandpa Mahoney would have the most recent edition of the Four County Catholic on his coffee table and tell me how much he enjoyed reading my article. He, like many of our housebound parishioners, looked forward to the delivery of the Four County Catholic each month and I know now, with the pandemic, even more people eagerly await its arrival.
Wayne Gignac and his team in the Communications Office of the Diocese have truly stepped up during this pandemic. Not only have they kept parishioners abreast of COVID-19 related information on the website, they have been instrumental in providing live streaming Masses, and have also continued to enlighten, and encourage its readership through the Four County Catholic.
Our Annual Catholic Appeal is currently at about 80% of our goal, for which we are very grateful. Unfortunately, the ministries that are supported by the ACA including the Communications Office and others such as St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich, St. Vincent de Paul, Middletown, Catholic Charities, Norwich, New London, Willimantic, Middletown, Ministry to the Sick and Spiritual Renewal have all experienced greatly increased demand for their services, which of course translates into a need for more money.
We are so appreciative to the directors, staff and volunteers at all of our ministries for all they continue to do to help and support our diocese, despite limited resources.
If you have not yet given to the Annual Catholic Appeal, “One Faith, One Family,” I would ask you to consider doing so now. Any donation, no matter its size, is very much appreciated. You can make an online donation at NorwichDioceseDevelopment.org or if you prefer, you can contact our Campaign Manager, Heather Harris, at (860) 886-1928 ext. 111 to do so over the phone. Thank you so much for your continued support.
By Mary Ellen Mahoney