Dear Editor: Obviously, there are many well deserved platitudes due the late Msgr. Marty Bannan as noted in the past weeks’ issues. As one of his parishioners in St. Ephrem’s parish, I worked on several committees and provided electrical maintenance and installations for him.
I believe, that one among many of the shining moments of his time as pastor was the time he opened the parish basement to several homeless men to sleep and have home cooked supper and breakfast. He chaired a sort of town hall meeting to explain his plan and a follow-up notice at Mass both of which showed the best and the worst of Catholicism in some who attended or were present.
If my memory serves me correctly, there was a loud and obnoxious reaction and walkout by some in a vitriolic rejection to Msgr. Bannan’s plan. Being a priest, he opted to continue his program in spite of the potential acrimony it might cause as already exhibited by reports in the local media.
He believed that we were doing God’s work and that God would work it out. He did and the program went on to be a resounding success and an example of men, women and families living the Gospel by providing hot meals, beds, companionship and concern for those in need of basic compassion and love.
Sadly, the program was short lived and after a few months was discontinued because everyone wanted to come there and there were limited beds available. In the long run, Msgr. Bannan’s dream was a success and I am sure a bright star in his spiritual crown. I was so proud of our monsignor and our parish.