Skip to comments.Letters unlock doors for priest with Alzheimer's
Posted on 07/30/2010 4:23:03 AM PDT by MDJohnPaul
After attempting suicide several years ago at a Cumberland penitentiary, a prisoner spent his days lying alone on the floor of his tiny cell. Staring at the ceiling and speaking few words, the man seemed lost.
Father Milton A. Hipsley, then the pastor of St. Mary in Cumberland and a chaplain for the areas prisons, was moved by the mans despair. Wearing his black clerics and white collar, the priest entered the cell and lay down beside the motionless figure. He became a channel of Gods mercy.
Inmates are good people, Father Hipsley remembered. They are lonely and theyre frustrated. If you go in and show kindness to them, its like showing attention to the barking dog. If you pet the dog, it starts to lick your hand and become like a friend.
After 16 years visiting prisoners and ministering to parishioners in Allegany County, Father Hipsley faces his own kind of confinement.
Diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in 2008, the 72-year-old priest had to give up his cherished roles as a pastor and chaplain. He now lives at St. Stephens Green on the campus of Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in Timonium, wearing a special bracelet so that medical staff can locate him.
Father Hipsley longs to return to his beloved Cumberland and resume his pastorate and chaplaincy. As thats not possible, hes found a new way to minister a method suggested to him by Archbishop Edwin F. OBrien one that lets him reach out to people. Its impact transforms him as much as those it serves.
Its a ministry of pen and paper.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholicreview.org ...
Poignant and sad. Yet, it is full of hope because this man has had most of his duties removed, yet he is still able to help people through his prayers.
I say to his fellow clergy — set aside your mundane worries about snow removal, the tree that fell in the school yard in the last storm, and the failing air conditioner one day a week and hie yourselves over to see Fr. Hipsley. It is an act of Mercy.
I stopped reading at “Inmates are good people”.
Is this why there are so many priests and nuns outside the prison crying their eyes out when somebody is executed? If so, I would submit that they don’t understand their own religion.
Yes, well, Jesus certainly had a hell of a nerve speaking to those two criminals who were hanging around with him! V’s wife.
Yes, well, Jesus certainly had a hell of a nerve speaking to those two criminals who were hanging around with him! Vs wife.
Jesus never addressed the incarceration of evil doers nor did He ever say that evil doers were "good people" . To compare the two thief's with the general prison population of today is a clear misreading of the Gospel.
The graveyards of full of people who in their final moment of life discovered that inmates are not good people. There are those inmates who have committed unspeakable horrors upon unsuspecting and innocent people and to say they are "good" people is just plain wrong.
This priest is a good man, but he obviously lost his ability to discern evil in man.
“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you came to me. I was in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35-36).
Although I am not Catholic by denomination, Father Hipsley is obviously a saintly man.
I know his faith in the Lord's sustaining grace is not misplaced. And I pray that his fellow priests will give him more of their time now that he so desparately longs for their presence at this difficult point in his life journey.
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you came to me. I was in prison and you visited me (Matthew 25:35-36).
FRiend, you haven't a clue as to Who you are quoting. Jesus is speaking about the End Times and this comes from the Olivet Discourse, the last of 5 discourses.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Next time, quote in context. Better yet, buy yourself a Bible so you know what you are talking about. This passage has everything to do with serving the Son of God and NOTHING to do with claiming evil men are "misunderstood".
Fine. One question: Do you pray the "Our Father?" If no, then pardon me - never mind.
If you do pray it: Do you stop after "forgive us our trespasses"; or do you continue with "as we forgive those who trespass against us."?
That two letter word - "as" - is important. And, for me, scary
Father Hipsley is visiting Christ when he visits those in prison, Garybob. That’s the whole point.
Wisdom. Let us attend.
Father Hipsley is visiting Christ when he visits those in prison, Garybob. Thats the whole point.
No, it isn't. You missed my point. My point was to object bringing the two thieves into the discussion. They were irrelevant to the discussion.
You are correct. However, the original scripture that was given to me was incomplete, i.e. out of context. I posted the scripture preceding so that other readers would know the complete context of what Jesus was saying regarding being visited in prison, and to challenge the OP to be more circumspect when quoting scripture. Had the thread been about sheep and goats, I'd of used that as well.
So, why do you feel the need to mention it? Do you cherry pick scripture in order to make scripture mean things it clearly does not? Context is everything in Holy Writ. That is the wisdom that you should attend to and properly chastise those who would misuse scripture. Or do you think it is OK to allow people to give false impressions of what the Bible says?
I’m aware of the entire passage. The point I’m making is that when we reach out to the emprisoned (the “evil-doers,” as you say), we are doing what Christ commands. Christ did as much to the man beside him on the cross who was sorry for his sins. Christ associated with prostitutes and tax collectors. He also said that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. It doesn’t mean we condone the crime. It does mean we show love and mercy. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me.”
Thank God for people like Father Hipsley.
False impressions? Allow people? I think people are pretty much free on this board to say just about anything within the well known guidelines.