A few moments from the week of August 8th 2016:
We took note of the license plate of the hearse U-1 that transported Fr. Joe to Vermont after his funeral at the LaSalette headquarters in Hartford, CT. (August 11, 2016)
The burial was Friday morning (August 12th)and we were under a flood watch with torrential rains. The rain poured down at morning Mass but the skies cleared at 10:00 AM for the burial, it was overcast and the air was very still. Msgr. Lavalley began the readings, suddenly there was a warm, strong breeze that lasted a few seconds. It turned Msgr. Lavalley's funeral book to a different page, he told me afterwards, that he was moved to read that reading too. It happened to be John 19: 25-30, Fr. Joe's favorite reading when he preached about Our Lady of LaSalette. He loved this reading!
After the burial I was standing by Fr. Joe's grave talking to a friend. Suddenly we heard engines in the sky and looked up. My friend was astounded! He said that flying over Fr. Joe's grave were five
World War ll NAVY Fighter planes! There are less than 150 of those still useable to fly and they were outfitted to land on carriers at sea. He said they were extremely rare. (Fr. Joe was a World War ll NAVY vet) I then told him that five was one of Fr. Joe's favorite numbers and he always referenced it to the five wounds of Christ.
Fr. Joe gave us some wonderful signs that he is now watching over us.
He was a fighter for Christ, Our Lady and for us! We now have a powerful intercessor in heaven!
Fr. John Welch gave a beautiful homily
Rev. Joseph F. Whalen, M.S.
Born: July 14, 1923
Profession: July 14, 1985
Ordination: September 9, 1989
Death: August 8, 2016
In all ages, priests have been held in the highest honor; yet the priests of the New Testament far exceed all others. For the power of consecrating and offering the Body and Blood of our Lord and of forgiving sins, which has been conferred on them, not only has nothing equal or like to it on earth, but even surpasses human reason and understanding.
They are the life line between God and man we must always protect and help them.
As someone previously has written:
"A calling where the pay is never great, the hours never short, and the hurdles never few. It didn't seem to matter to this priest. A life of greatness precisely because he sought no greatness at all."
THE KISS OF CHRIST
Lo, there He hangs,
Dying figure pinned against the wood.
God, grant that I might love Him
even as I should.
I draw a little closer to share His love divine,
and I softly hear Him whisper,
“Oh foolish child of mine, if now I should embrace you,
My hands would stain you red,
and if I bent to kiss you,
My thorns would pierce your head.”
‘Twas then I learned in meekness
That Love demands a price;
‘Twas then I knew that sorrow was just
The Kiss of Christ.