Year For Priests

Readers share memories of priests

Visiting the sick
“I would like to sing the praises of Msgr. Ellsworth Walden, pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Smithtown. The parish has thousands of members yet he takes the time to bring the Holy Eucharist to its members. My husband, Jim, was incapacitated with Parkinson’s disease. Father Walden took the time to come to our home and bring Communion each week.  He didn’t drop in and leave, he would stay and talk with Jim and feed him both spiritually and with conversation. He is a quiet, kind and caring man and an inspiration for all.”
Carol M. Leary, Smithtown

Counsel, support, guidance
“One of the many beautiful priests who have graced our lives is Father Patrick Armshaw. Pastor of Our Lady of Loretto in Hempstead 20 years ago, he helped us through a major crisis in our lives. He counseled , supported and guided us with utmost care and sensitivity. His homilies touched us deeply and enriched our faith. When our grandchild of three was very ill, he sat with us in the hospital and we are certain his prayers helped him be fully healed. He was at our 50th wedding anniversary Mass and concelebrated to make it so special for us. ”
Sal and Rita Monti, South Hempstead

The “happy priest”
“Msgr. Daniel Potterton came to St. Barnabas, Bellmore in 1970. He was known as the ‘happy priest’. Our parish became a very active one due to his charism. His heart was for the poor and downtrodden so he started the St. Vincent de Paul Conference in the parish. He inspired members of the parish to serve and these efforts led to the opening of two homes for homeless men, Anthony House and Dismas House, that have assisted thousands of men to change their lives. We thank the Lord for Msgr’s love and presence. He passed away Jan. 22, 1998.”
Jack Eschmann, Bellmore

One in a trillion
“Father Bruno Dekram had been on loan to us from his homeland in Belgium. He is one in a trillion. Sadly, we bid him farewell a few years ago, when he was transferred from St. Aidan’s in Williston Park to Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park — a stone’s throw away, in one sense of the word, but worlds away when it comes to missing him! He was so special, in every sense of the word. Though we share him reluctantly, we are happy he is making such a mark at Our Lady of Victory. He is a rare and very special individual who will bring God’s love and kindness with him wherever he goes.”
Mary Kenney, Williston Park

Changed her life forever
“Father Robert Blyman is the pastor of Our Lady of Mercy parish in Hicksville. The past two years have been a wonderful journey of faith for me. Without judgment he has taken the time to listen, care and guide me on many issues. There are many people who come and go in our lives but Father Blyman has helped me in a way that has changed my life forever.”
Betty Quinn

Quiet, dignified presence
“The Knights of the Mackay Council and the parishioners of St. Mary’s, Roslyn have been fortunate to have the friendship and spiritual guidance of Monsignor Rich Bauhoff. Monsignor is the Gary Cooper role model of a priest. He leads by a quiet and dignified presence. The secular media have been having a field day highlighting the bad element. It is important to single out the many good clergy and Monsignor Bauhoff leads the list. ”
Philip Kirk, PGK, FS
John W. Mackay Council #2310 Knights of Columbus, Glen Head

A true disciple
“For many years I had the privilege of working with Father Robert Mason, former pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park and former diocesan Director of the Nocturnal Adoration Society, through parish organizations and diocesan functions at Father’s former parish, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary in Roosevelt, and at Our Lady of Lourdes. His deep sense of caring and genuine love of our faith was always visible, as it is to this day. Father is a true disciple of our loving Savior.

One of the greatest blessings in my long and extended life is the privilege of being able to call Father Mason friend, in the truest sense of that word. ”
Terry Archer, Baldwin