6th Sunday of Easter


Dear Friends,

Many of us will remember Pat Leposa who was our staff member, doing ministry as Spiritual Director for twenty-four years, bringing much peace to the many under her spiritual guidance for discerning God’s will in their lives. In 2020, she decided to retire, due to failing health, and moved out of New Jersey to be with her family. Here’s an excerpt from her farewell message to the parish which was published in the bulletin then:

“It was twenty-four years ago that I began my ministry here at St. Matthias as your Spiritual Director. Coming to know and love the good people of this faith community has been my privilege. Now, I am excited to be moving on to the next chapter of my life. Even as my heart is filled with the joy and purpose that the last twenty-four years has blessed me with, I am deeply saddened at the prospect of leaving St. Matthias. As I go on to join my family in Montana, I am grateful for the countless ways that you, my St. Matthias family, have enriched me and strengthened my faith. It is though the experience of Spiritual Direction that I have been blessed to taste and see the goodness of the Lord. I will miss you.

If you are moved to draw closer to the God who loves you, and to seek out a new perspective in your life, then I urge you to consider Spiritual Direction. Inspired by the Spirit, it is through your visits with your spiritual advisor that you will become more aware of the many ways that God works in your life. Your visits will open your eyes, and your heart to enable you to embrace His love. It will provide you with the spiritual perspective to celebrate God’s goodness, even as you meet the challenges in your life. This investment in your spiritual health can be a life-changing experience.”

All those who knew her, and those of us who worked with her in the parish office, were saddened to know that she passed away on December 30, 2023. She was an embodiment of gentleness, compassion, listening, understanding, care and prayerfulness. She touched countless lives through her service including opening her home to a refugee Vietnamese family, Cursillo Christian retreats, Kairos prison ministries, and Mount Saint Mary House of Prayer in Watchung, NJ, where she was the first retreatant! She was most fulfilled through her 38 years as a Mercy Associate with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and the first layperson to be a member of the NJ Associate Leadership Team. Pat also contributed to a CD of spiritual songs called Tender Mercy to raise funds for Mercy ministries in New Jersey.

We had announced her passing away and prayed for her at all the weekend Masses here at St. Matthias. I had offered a Memorial Mass at the House of Prayer in Watchung last month where her family and friends gathered to pay her tributes. This Monday, the 8 am Mass is offered in her memory. We gladly welcome her son John and other family and friends who plan to be present for this Mass. (John told me that he is flying in from North Carolina to attend this Mass!) The Parish Community of St. Matthias remains ever grateful to God for the gift of life and ministry of Pat Leposa. May she continue to intercede for us from her heavenly abode.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. Abraham Orapankal