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Newsletter of Mater Dei Seminary
November 2004

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Why Do We Pray for the Dead?
   Moral Theology:
      Marriage of a Minor
      Solemn Revalidation of a Marriage

Dear friends and benefactors,

From time to time, I would like to devote particular issues of the Adsum to some of the wonderful souls whose lives were such an edification to all who knew them, whose support of the church and seminary were most generous and whom I have had the privilege to serve as a spiritual father. Now that they have passed on to eternity, I believe our readers would appreciate and would benefit from their short biographies.

The picture on the front page of this issue shows the funeral rites for a very dear soul and a long time parishioner of Mary Immaculate Church — Mary Simoneau. She was well-known by our seminarians as the petite elderly lady in the wheelchair.

For the many of you who have never known Mary or have never met her, she was indeed a person “fortes in fide” strong in the faith. She was always very expressive of her love for Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, and never one to hide her Catholic Faith. In her spiritual life, Mary did not just pray a lot; she prayed constantly. During the course of a conversation she would pray to Jesus and Mary for help in this matter or that. This was by no means something made up or pretended; it sprang from her simple soul quite honestly and naturally.

Despite her physical frailty due to advanced age and diabetes, Mary was, from her wheelchair, a spiritual giant in soul. She was so resigned to the will of God in sufferings (especially when she lost her leg to her illness), so patient with her limitations, so appreciative to all who showed her the least kindness and so cheerful to all who met her. Often times we erroneously measure strength only from a physical aspect, yet how many souls, while physically weak and frail, are such solid spiritual rocks of Gibraltar.

Although many of our readers may not know, the late Mary Simoneau and her departed husband, Ed, were instrumental in the Sisters' acquisition of their convent and boarding school in Persia, Iowa.

Back in 1996, I had been on the lookout for property to house our Sisters teaching here in Omaha. After months of searching, I remember my jetum from Tabor, Iowa (one hour southeast of Omaha), where there was a farm house and acreage for sale at a very affordable price. The price was great because the house was adjacent to a large hog operation, with a most unique "fragrance." Having seen the futility of my efforts, I prayed to God that if the Sisters were to get a convent, He would have to do it, because I could not.

No sooner had I prayed that prayer on Friday, then the following Sunday, Ed Simoneau approached me with the offer to view his old farm house which he would like to give to the Sisters. When I suggested to have the property assessed in order to pay him for it, he refused. Still, I insisted that I pay something for it; he replied, “one dollar!” When I saw him the very next Sunday after Mass, to thank him for the property, he simply said in a humorous tone, “I want my dollar!”

My response was that I do not usually negotiate on Sundays, but I would make an exception and give him “his dollar.”

When I received word of her Mary’s death, I thought now she can once again be happy to be reunited with her dear husband, Ed, who preceded her in death a few years earlier. Ed and Mary were such a wonderful example for our married couples; they were always concerned for each other's needs. If you were to ask Ed how he was doing, his answer was how his wife was doing; and vice versa, if you asked Mary how she was doing, she would speak of her husband. Although so very different in personality and temperament, they built their many years of wedded life on the solid foundation of love and self-sacrifice.

Over the years I can’t tell you how edified and inspired I have been by so many of our faithful. And it is an important lesson for our seminarians to leam and to realize the great privilege that will be theirs to minister to the spiritual needs of Christ's faithful, both young and old.

With my blessing and sincere appreciation for your support,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Why Do We Pray for the Dead?
   Moral Theology:
      Marriage of a Minor
      Solemn Revalidation of a Marriage

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Printed copies of Adsum, a publication by the seminarians of Mater Dei Seminary for the reading enjoyment of friends and benefactors, are sent free of charge to all who request it. Most issues also contain photos of recent events involving the seminarians. If you would like to put on this mailing list, please use this form.

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