A Faithful Priest, A Cherished Memory
In the first week of January, 2013, we celebrated The Mass of the Resurrection for a priest, Rev. Edward S. Maraczewski (RIP). Father Ed was ordained a Priest in February, 1945, a year before my ordination in 1944. So, in the six year course of studies in the Major Seminary, I spent five years with Fr. Ed. After my ordination, I only met him once in the ensuing 68 years. It was a notable one, in November 1974 while I was in Rome.
On my way home from India, I stopped off in Rome. Fortunately, I was able to make a Sunday morning reservation to offer Mass at the Altar of St. Pius X on the main floor of St. Peter’s Basilica. The people of Rome always keep this altar supplied with fresh flowers – Pius X, a favorite of theirs.
After celebrating a joy-filled Mass, I made my way back to the sanctuary I saw a priest approaching – the one who would take my place at the altar of Pius X. It was Father Ed. How satisfying to see the face of friend after meeting thousands of strangers in the previous weeks. After 30 years since ordination, Ed and I still believed in the beauty and power of the Mass. We stopped and exchanged good words. Never again did I see him. He died a faithful Priest to the end!
The memory of my Mass at the tomb of St. Pius X has stayed with me. In the seminary, his life story captured my heart. Born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto into a poor family in Northern Italy, he was known for his kindness and gentleness. He remained a humble man, even as Pope! He died in 1914.
Pius X made it possible for children, 8 years old, to receive the Eucharist! In Holy Sepulchre Cemetery stands his bronze likeness, 10 feet high. Over the years, I often went there in troublesome days to share my thoughts with him.
Eternal Peace to Father Ed!
Fr. George Mc Kenna