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Pray for this priest: ‘It looks like the cancer is more aggressive than first anticipated…’

KETCHAM, Gregory

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/22/16

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With all this happening in the world, items like this on Facebook can be easily overlooked. They shouldn’t be. (h/t to Fr. Jim Sichko for passing this along).

Fr. Greg Ketcham is pastor of St. Mary Church in Downs, IL, in the Diocese of Peoria. He posted this message on the parish website:

Hi My Parish Family & Good Friends I have been in Houston, Texas now for over a week.  I already miss all of you!  It looks like the cancer is more aggressive than first anticipated.  A second brain biopsy will take place on Friday.  This will be a needle biopsy which will allow me to heal much sooner so that I can begin intense radiation and chemo.  I have moved into an apartment with my three older sisters who are my angels.  Once radiation and chemo begins, my sisters will need to visit their families.  I will always have one sister with me as a care taker.  The local Catholic community at the Sacred Heart Cathedral has been very empathetic and helpful.  I want you to know that Bishop Jenky, Msgr James Kruse (Vicar General), and all the priests of the Diocese of Peoria have been “over the top” loving and supportive of me and I am so grateful to them!  The Diocese of Peoria will continue having my back for which I am very grateful!  Many of you have also expressed interest in being of assistance to me so you will soon be able  to contribute to a You Caring Account for out of pocket expenses as I envision what treatment will look like for an indefinite period of time.  Its been amazing wearing my Roman Collar into MD Anderson and cancer patients recognizing my medical bracelet which identifies me as joining with them in this journey of the Cross. They make eye contact, smiles, conversations, and join with me in prayer.  I know all of you are lifting me up in prayer!  The Lord has given me great peace which is even more powerful than hope!  I totally have submitted my life and priesthood into the hands of Jesus through the intercession of Venerable Archbishop Sheen, St. Patrick, St. John Bosco, and St. Dominic Savio.  Should it be God’s holy will, I very much look forward to returning as Pastor of my beloved St. Patrick of Merna and St. Mary’s in Downs. If you wish to send me a card or letter, my address is:  2630 Bissonnet Street, Apt. 2112, Houston, Texas 77005.  I pray for all of you daily and love you all!  God Bless You! Jesus Is My Savior, Father Greg

Please pray for him!  You can learn more about his life here. If you are looking for a special way to storm heaven, might I suggest invoking (as Fr. Greg does) the Venerable Archbishop Sheen?

Eternal Father, You alone grant us every blessing in Heaven and on earth, through the redemptive mission of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit.   In every age, You raise up men and women outstanding in holiness, whose faithful service has contributed significantly to the mission of the Church.  In this very way, You used the life and work of Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen.  He inspired great numbers of Catholics and other people of good will to grow in virtue and lead lives pleasing to You and of service to their brothers and sisters in need.  He encouraged them to embrace the ‘Gospel of Life’ by recognizing that in all its circumstances, ‘Life is worth living.’

If it be according to Your Will, Eternal Father, glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, by granting the favor I now request through his prayerful intercession (mention your request here).  I make this prayer confidently in Jesus’ Name, through the merits of His Passion, Death and Resurrection.   


Photo: St. Mary website

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