An Easter message from a dying priest: “My faith in the Resurrection is the reason for my hope”

This email was forwarded to me last night. It comes from Father Tom Wehinger in the Diocese of Toledo, who sent it around to clergy in the diocese on Monday:

After five weeks of illness, I have been diagnosed with liver cancer – stage four. The cancer is too advanced for having any kind of treatment. The oncologist would not hazard a guess as to how much time I have left. I will make the best of whatever time I have. Periodic updates will be available on this website.

My faith in the Resurrection is the reason for my hope. Please keep me in your prayers.

Then a few days later, he sent this followup:

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and best wishes. I draw much strength from them. This is a different kind of Holy Week. It’s the first time I remember missing the Chrism Mass in 53 years, and I celebrated Holy Thursday’s liturgy privately. It’s different, but I continue to remain connected to you in prayer and Eucharist. I met with representatives of Hospice recently. I’ll become part of that wonderful program soon so that I will have access to the great services and support it offers. Sister Sharon Pollnow, CSA – a good friend of mine for 38 years – has been helping me and will continue to do so through the entire journey. I have asked Sharon to drive me to Milwaukee. There I will spend Easter with her family and say my goodbyes to the Pollnow family which has been a second family for me all these years. This week is about the Paschal Mystery and death gives way to life. I ask the Lord to wrap all of you in God’s loving embrace at this sacred time of the year. Peace and Love, Father Tom

God love him. Please keep this priest and all those who love and care for him in your prayers.


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