By Fr. Christopher Kubat
After Sister Bernadette, Sister Karen and Sister Carol informed the ladies at St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes that I will be leaving my position at Catholic Social Services in June, they all put their heads together and planned a pizza party on-site at St. Gianna’s as a surprise going-away event for yours truly.
Now, there have been other pizza parties there before and I usually try to make them, but am not always successful because of my schedule. The sisters always invite me, but this time reminded me several times, which I thought was rather odd. Even my administrative assistant, Pat Walbrecht, asked me if I was going.
Despite all of this, I did not suspect that it would be an occasion to hold a surprise going away party. Needless to say when I arrived, I was surprised beyond description. Because my birthday was a few days prior, there was even a birthday cake and ice cream.
The touching ‘frosting on the cake,’ so to speak, was a special poster made and signed by the ladies and children which used 10 different kinds of candy. The clever thing about the poster was that the names of the candy were used in the message. If you are unable to read what the poster says by looking at the picture, it reads (the names of the candy in italics): “Father, you’ve given us Good & Plenty reasons to miss you! We could Orbit the entire Milky Way and never find another priest to Eclipse U! We have Mounds of love for you! You always go to the Extreme mile. You are worth 100 Grand (three bars!) to us! We will always cherish our time with you Now and Later. Best wishes, hugs and Kisses. From the women and Runts at St. Gianna’s!
There were even two little handprints from one of the “runts.” The kids were especially interested in showing me this work of art! After singing happy birthday and praying, we all had our fill of pizza, lasagna, cake and ice cream. I plan on keeping the poster and eating and sharing the candy.
When I leave in June, in addition to missing the wonderful staff, volunteers and clients at CSS, I am going to miss the Marian Sisters, ladies and children at St. Gianna’s. How can I ever forget them, especially after such an incredible going-away party?
Through the intercession of St. Gianna, may the ladies and their children always be safe at St. Gianna’s as they grow closer to Almighty God Who is their Father. St. Gianna, pray for us!