The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


When a priest is diagnosed with cancer

posted by jmcgee

Out in Los Angeles, there’s this remarkable story of a priest’s own struggle with cancer — and how he’s using that to spread the gospel message:

cancer1.jpgIn his flowing, cream-colored chasuble, Msgr. Marc Trudeau ambled back and forth in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels’ altar, at ease with himself and the 600-plus member congregation of the Oct. 18 “Pray for a Cure for Cancer” Mass and anointing. 

The 52-year-old priest secretary to Cardinal Roger Mahony pointed out last year 1.5 million new cases were diagnosed in the United States and more than 500,000 men, women and children died from various kinds of malignancies. He reported how lung cancer headed the list with more than 200,000 new cases reported, followed by breast cancer and prostate cancer. 

“Coming in about 10th to 15th was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which had 66,000 cases,” Msgr. Trudeau said, “and I am one of those cases. Statistics are rather boring until you’re one of them. And we are all here because we are one of those statistics, or we have a loved one who is one of those statistics.” 

“So during this last year in dealing with cancer, I have been able to – and sort of been forced to – reflect on today’s second reading from Hebrews: ‘We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with us in our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in all these things but without sin. And so we approach confidently the throne of grace to receive mercy and the grace for timely aid.’” 

After a moment, he confided, “It’s a very powerful reflection for me on what it is to suffer, why we suffer and how God enters into that.”

There’s much, much more.  Do yourself a favor.  Read the rest here.


Photo: by R.W. Dellinger/The Tidings


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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted October 30, 2009 at 7:24 am


Oh my… wow. I have been present at a liturgy at OLA where Trudeau presided. Many prayers for him, what a story. Thank you for sharing this.



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