The Mass to celebrate the 100th birthday on August 9 of Father Roberto Balducelli, of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, of Wilmington, Delaware, ordained in Italy in 1936, instead became his memorial Mass. He died just 100 minutes before his birthday.

Coming to this country as a young priest, he served in one parish for 67 years, creating the reputation of initiating pastoral projects and seeing them through to fruition.

He touched countless lives. Wilmington Bishop J. Francis Malooly and U.S. Vice President Joseph M. Biden, long a Wilmington parishioner, praised Father Balducelli in statements noting his passing.

Priest Helps Priests to Be ‘Renewed In Jesus’ Love, Mercy’

Father Eugene Florea, of the Diocese of Phoenix, ordained in 2007, is head of the Merciful Heart Oratory in Black Canyon City, Ariz. Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted established the oratory to be a place where priests could go, away from responsibilities for a time, to be alone, to pray and to reflect.

Father Florea believes the Oratory fills a crucial need for priests. Noting how busy priests are, Father Florea said that the Oratory is “… for them to have the silence and solitude to be renewed in Jesus’ love and mercy so they can pour that on those they serve.”

Martin Luther

On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustinian friar and priest, nailed his “95 Thesis” on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It was the symbolic beginning of the Reformation. Luther saw the date as an opportunity. The next day was All Saints’ Day.

Fifty Years Ago

In October 1963, The Priest had an article warning that there could be no “co-existence” with Communism, a major issue then in American politics and soon to be an issue in the Vatican. A pastor wrote about the critical need to make contact with people newly moving into the parish.

‘Go in Peace’

“Unless you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of God.” — Matthew 18:3