Sunday, June 3, 2007

"Never underestimate the power of one faithful priest . . ."

As news of Fr. Malloy's departure as Pastor from SS. Peter and Paul gets around, words of love come in from all over:

Never underestimate the power of one faithful and courageous priest!

I met Fr. Malloy 3 years ago. Gavin Newsom was granting marriage licenses to same sex couples and we the faithful were beside ourselves about what to do. We wanted to make some public stand and let the country know that there was another voice in San Francisco - a true Catholic voice. We needed a pastor who would allow us to stage an event from his church. When our small group met with Bill May for the first time, he told us about an activist priest - the pastor of Sts Peter and Paul. I telephoned Fr. Malloy and he immediately scheduled a time to meet with me. I planned what I was going to say to him and how I'd convince him to help us. (Clearly, I didn't know Fr. Malloy.) I'll never forget sitting in his office, a big black cat on the desk, and Fr. Malloy taking out his calendar and saying, "What day did you have in mind? I don't care if I go to jail."

In that first meeting we planned the first ever Marriage and Family Rally - staged from Sts. Peter and Paul Church - a Catholic voice was being heard in the public square of San Francisco for the first time in decades. It was a first for us all including the Archbishop who had never before addressed a crowd of inspired, motivated Catholics on the streets of San Francisco. Ambassador Ray Flynn joined us from Boston and it was the first time many us met Oakland's Bishop Vigneron - who concelebrated mass and delivered the homily.

I'll never forget his words "Do not be afraid because GOD IS GOD!" 1,200 people joined us that day as we walked around North Beach led by Fr. Malloy, Ray Flynn and the Archbishop (escorted by the San Francisco Police Dept.) carrying a banner calling for the promotion, protection, and preservation of marriage and family.

Because of the success of this event in April of 2004, our group was encouraged enough to plan a pro-life event for the following January 22, 2005 - the Walk for Life. 7,000 the first year, 15,000 the 2nd and this last year saw upward of 20,000 pro-life activists walking through the streets of San Francisco - who would of thought it possible? Fr. Malloy not only thought it possible, Fr. Malloy, with the ever present counsel of the Holy Spirit and Gibbons, made it possible. Naturally, Fr. Malloy is the chaplain of the Walk for Life.

When Our Lord spoke about the shepherd who is willing to die for his flock, He was surely looking forward about 2,000 years to His beloved servant Fr. Malloy. I will miss him fiercely in his role as pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church; I can't imagine the bulletin without his column, but if he thinks that he is going to rest on his laurels in retirement, he has another think coming. We have adopted him for life - he is our shepherd!

Never underestimate the power of one faithful priest who steps out in courage with the Lord on his side! I love you Fr. Malloy and I am forever thankful to God for your presence in my (our) life.

Your daughter in Christ,

Dolores Meehan

Dolores Meehan is the co-founder of the "Walk for Life West Coast"

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