February 12, 2009

Please Pray for Bishop Welsh

Dear Friends:

I received word last night that Bishop Thomas Welsh, first shepherd of Arlington, is in critical condition in an Allentown hospital with a serious heart ailment. Please keep him in your prayers.

Bishop Welsh is one of the most gracious men I've ever known. I was at a function once where he greeted almost everyone who approached him by name. I was amazed. He was one of the first bishops to lead a major prayer demonstration at an abortion mill, the Northern Virginia Women's Medical Center.

After he left for Allentown and after his retirement I used to see him occasionally when he was in town because he generally would visit the Poor Clares and say Mass for them. It was always a pleasure to go back to the sacristy and say hello. He always asked about the children.

He once visited our home in Alexandria after Easter and brought a giant bag of black jelly beans for the little ones which endeared him to their hearts because they liked the black ones best (like their mom). I remember that he picked out all the black olives (or was it mushrooms?) in his salad and left them on his plate. It's just a little memory that makes me smile. Somehow it made him less "bishop" and more "father."  In fact, when I think about him it makes me smile. He is so kind, a quality that we could all practice better; I think it covers a multitude of sins and who among us doesn't need that? I still treasure the rosary he gave me that he said Pope John Paul II blessed during one of his ad limina visits.

And so I will be offering my Mass, rosary, and all my joys and sufferings today for this dear and gracious spiritual father.  Thank you, Bishop Welsh, for being a father and a friend.

Mary Ann Kreitzer

E_Letters Archive

Les Femmes searching for Shepherds to defend the flock.
Joan of Arc
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Les Femmes Inc., 1216 Mill Rd. Woodstock, VA 22664.