Father Tom Mallaghan – A Priest to the End
About a week before Fr.Tom died I visited him like many others and sat by his bedside. He seemed to be asleep.I began to pray the Rosary. Slowly. he began to wake up and I introduced myself. He smiled. Since he had great devotion to Mary I finished the rosary. He seemed to join in since his lips moved. When we finished I began to reminisced about our days in Princeton. Fr. Tom perked up. I reminded him of his famous home run on July 19 when for the first time in over 10 years the Novices beat the Major Seminarians. His reaction was interesting, He smiled and nodded approvingly. He had been the hero of the day.
I also noticed that he was getting tired. So I said “Tom, will you please give me you blessing” Suddenly he sat up, smiled and blessed me with a Hugh sign of the cross. He spoke the words of blessing loudly and clearly. I could sense his zeal for ministry was still very much alive. Fr. Tom loved being a priest, something which was always evident over the past 57 years.
I asked Tom if he would like to rest. He said “Yes”. So I left the room quietly.
His enthusiastic response of blessing me I will never forget.
… One last virtue of Fr. Tom… The last words he said to me as I left his room were “Thanks, Steve, for coming to see me” Fr. Tom was a man of gratitude.
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