NEW JERSEY – On Monday, August 15, 2022 the Rev Sam Frapaul, OFM CAP, was given a farewell dinner at noon at Immaculate Conception Convent in Lodi, NJ. After giving him many serious accolades, the Sisters wanted to inject some humor. So some gag gifts were given to him e.g. sanitizer for future Pandemics. Father also received certificates including the Blessed Angela Award for faithful service to the Felician Sisters. Then two songs were sung: a funny song describing our patient chaplain and the traditional “May the Good Lord bless and keep you.” Sister Maria Magdalena Vallellanes led the singing. At the end, SIster Elizabeth Marie Morley, local minister, thanked Father Sam for his generous service and told him he is always welcome to visit.
In the hearts of the Felician Sisters in Lodi, the greatest recognition given to Father Sam was the “Pandemic Padre” Award for ministry beyond the call of duty. If you do not mind, an article in the FELICIAN update of May 22, 2020 described the reasons we will miss Father Sam. We are grateful that the Adorno Fathers will be our chaplains in the future but we will miss the Franciscan touch of the Capuchins.
A PROFILE IN COURAGE, COMPASSION and GENEROSITY
The Felician Sisters since the time of Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, our foundress, have been spiritually enriched by many great members of the Capuchin Order – from Father Honorat to the present.
The Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Convent in Lodi are grateful for the ministry of their current chaplain, the Rev. Sam Frapaul, OFM CAP. During the Pandemic Father Sam has not only maintained his ministry to the Felician Sisters but has added on other responsibilities.
Daily and Sunday Father Sam arrives around 9:00 a.m. to celebrate the 10:00 a.m. Mass. He comes early in order to prepare the chapel since he is now the sacristan. Preparing the lectionary, sacramentary, cruets and other elements of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Father also puts on the electric lights and lights the candles, closes the curtains behind the altar, checks the Mass intention and assumes the responsibilities of the faithful sacristan, Sister Mary DeLourdes Zdunowski.
When the Celebration of the Eucharist begins, the chapel is empty of participants. Sisters are watching the Mass on closed circuit TV. So Father is the presider as well as the reader. He leads the responsorial psalm and responds in the name of the congregation. He preaches a beautiful well prepared homily every day. He reads the intercessions and answers “Lord, hear our prayer” for every petition. He reverently prays the words of the Consecration as the Presider. He intently says the prayers of the congregation: Holy, Acclamation, Amen, Our Father, Lamb of God, etc. What is most admired by many Sisters is that he stands for the entire Mass even though he was not ordained in the recent past. May God give him strength to continue.
What Father Sam is not able to do for us is to give us Holy Communion (how many weeks without the Bread of Heaven!) and to hear our confessions. We have faith that those blessings will return soon.
Thank you, Father Sam, for your precious ministry to the Felician Sisters of Immaculate Conception Convent. Only Almighty God can repay our debt of gratitude to you.
Father Sam, thank you for everything and we will miss you!
Submitted by Sister Virginia Tomasiak, SM