Dear Editor: She wasn’t a nun or a priest or a deacon but Valerie Balsamo, parish secretary of St. Luke’s, Whitestone will be missed by all religious and parishioners. Valerie was an integral part of the fabric that bonds the parish of St. Luke as one tight knit family. Valerie passed from this earth on Nov. 1, 2017. How appropriate that day was All Saints Day!
If you were to poll every parishioner as well as our pastor, Msgr. John Tosi, or our parish priests, Father Peter Penton and Father Paul Kim or Sister Katherine Burke and Sister Theresa Agliardi, they would tell you that for the past 14 years that Val served our parish secretary, she was a saint on earth.
Val always greeted everyone with love, care and respect. She was a calming and capable influence in a busy and wonderful parish. The seven priests who returned to a parish that they once called home along with our two parish priests to concelebrate her funeral Mass with Msgr. Tosi demonstrated one true testament to her love and care for others.
Val also was an integral member of her loving family. She will be deeply missed by her mother, brother, her husband, Sal, their children and grandchildren.
I am sure I will not be alone, but one of the things I will greatly miss is the personal friendship that transcends service to a community. I will miss the fact that although I am three years removed from the parish, I could pick up the phone and simply say, “Hi Val, this is Frank, is Monsignor in, or is Sister Theresa in, or how are you doing today?” and Val would instantly know whom she was speaking to, no last name needed, you were a part of her extended family. I always took comfort knowing that if it were ten years from now and Val was still in her position, the greeting and response would go the same way.
Val was not a priest or a nun or a deacon, but she was a warm and wonderful friend to everyone that knew her and a saint to all. Without a doubt she was loved by all and will be deeply missed by everyone who crossed her path.
Valerie, we love you, pray for us, as we surely will pray for you.