Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mass celebrates Father Rager's life, ministry

From The Post-Gazette

It was a funeral, but few of those who attended the final Mass for the Rev. Patrick Rager wore black.

For at least some of the priests there Saturday morning, the Mass was a celebration of Father Rager's saintly life. Knowing and spending time with him, they said, was a chance to feel God's presence.

The 50-year-old Catholic priest died Tuesday at his home in West Homestead after suffering for years from ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Despite his illness, Father Rager earned worldwide recognition for his dedication to ministry, prompting church leaders and others to describe him as a yet-to-be canonized saint.

About 100 friends, family and clergy gathered at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish in Munhall, where the Rev. Kris Stubna echoed a sentiment expressed earlier in the service by Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh.

"People walked away from Father Pat knowing they had been in the presence of God," said Father Stubna, the diocesan education secretary.

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