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Daily Postings

Fr Joe Girzone

Filed under: Daily Postings — Joshua Mountain Ministries @

Dear friends

I can’t believe I have finally found my way back into the realm of being able to write to you. The computer has been locked up for months and for fear of losing all of Fr Joe’s writings and blogs we have been very careful trying not to lose any of his saved documents. I started this morning in prayer asking Joe to please help me navigate through the system and find all the old passwords, as when the computer shut down to reboot or whatever it does.  As always Joe came through and I found myself here being able to access and write again.

We have been involved in so much as of late. We have started renovation on the outside of the house, as well as patching and painting on the interior. The Tuesday night talks continue and are still held on the first and second Tuesday of the month.  We also have a retreat once a month with 32 people. The men and their wives are discerning the path for their husbands  to become ordained deacons in the church. We are heavily rooted in Joe’s theology and it is ,and always has been, part of his dream for clergy to have a place to go to learn about Jesus. I have also taken a job at the City Mission in Schenectady NY, and I have the opportunity of teaching a class to the men who are in the Bridges to Freedom program, going from dependency to independence.  The book we use for the class is Never Alone. It has been received very well and many are asking what else Fr Joe has written and are falling in love with his image of  Jesus.  It has now been one year since fr Joe’s passing but I feel his presence everyday, in all I do and in all my prayers. It really is a great consolation as many times  I hear his voice as though he were standing before me and speaking as we had often in the past always guiding and leading to a deeper understanding and awareness of how very close Jesus is to all of us. He continually tries to encounter us in our daily lives and all we need do is allow it. Find the time to sit still and say,” Here I am Lord, I give this time and space to be with you.” So simple, and so easy to set aside a moment each day to be with Him , Jesus. How important it is for us this advent season to take the time to set aside all the hustle of the Christmas of the secular world and to center and devote the same time and energy to what truly gives life meaning and purpose, our continued relationship with Jesus. To not allow ourselves to lose sight of the light that guides us all to a world filled with compassion love and mercy. And it is in recognizing this true light that we become the light for others, a beacon of hope as we immerse ourselves in becoming voices of truth and justice for the weak, the lonely and the poor in our midst. So  this Christmas season, we give the gift of Jesus over and over again as we give ourselves to one another always aware  the Holy spirit is there with us and in our interactions with one another. In  our bringing Jesus with us in the guise of the Holy Spirit that we continue to give birth to God’s love in a new way that awakens the Spirit of love and acceptance in all our brothers and sisters opening our eyes and speaking to our hearts moving us to meet the needs of those before us and to receive one another in love and fellowship as Jesus says, “this I command you, Love one another.” And in our fulfilling this most basic command for our Lord we never tire of seeking the next encounter,all the while carrying our own love for Jesus in our hearts which opens our eyes to see, and our hearts to love and our minds to the wisdom of the Spirit who gives us all we need to communicate and respond to one another doing the will of the Father always.  It is with great joy that I pray for you all, that I give thanks for my relationship with Jesus and a better understanding of who Jesus is for me, because Fr Joe allowed me, and all of us to see and know a Jesus who truly loves all of us for who WE are. That he created each of us for a specific person, each their own special gift and relationship with Jesus. May we continue to carry on this light, this truth, and follow in the way that Jesus leads us, never tiring of giving new birth to our faith for all to see through the way we live our lives as intimate friends of Jesus.

As always I give thanks for the work and support from Sr Dorothy Ederer for her steadfast commitment to continuing Fr Joe’s message, the Girzone family for all their help and the entire Joshua foundation board.

Peace to all

Your brother in Jesus

Deacon Gary Riggi

P.S. New contacts for while we work on our new web page

ph# 518 3650164 please leave a message if no answer

garyjriggi@gmail.com

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Our Dear Friend Fr Joe

Filed under: Daily Postings — Joshua Mountain Ministries @

It is with great sadness that we write to you. Fr Joe has passed away. He was surrounded by family and friends, and went to the arms of Jesus peacefully. He was only ill for a short time and said that he was tired. For all of us we will miss Fr Joes welcoming personality, hardy laugh, and the presence of himself to all who ever called on him. he was just always there for everyone. We are happy for him, as he is now with his best friend, Jesus. It is so easy to say this about him, for if there was ever anyone on this earth who could show us who Jesus really was, it was Fr Joe. He gave us a Jesus we can all love, and a Jesus, who like himself, always has time for us. All we need do is sit and welcome Him into our homes and heart. Through his Joshua series and many writings , he introduced to us a human Jesus, full of emotions, hardships, joys, and a God who was so human and loving, that if we but say yes, He is there with us. He let all of us know how special, in our own way, each of us were to him and to Jesus. Someone told me that he touched so many people, that it seemed that we were all part of his family. I said, how much like Jesus is that. Jesus called all of us His children, uniting all peoples  to himself, regardless of backgrounds, religion, race, or gender. Joe was our modern day prophet, so intimate with Jesus, that  you couldn’t separate the two. The Fr Joe I know and love, and I am sure for all of us, is the closest many of us will ever come to what Jesus must have been like when He was here. His works will continue to be published, his talks will continue to be distributed and his ministries will continue to go on. I met Fr Joe when I was 9 yrs old, my life has never been the same. I remember asking him how do you read the Bible ? He said” Start with the Gospels.” From that point forward I fell in love with Jesus. We spent hours on the phone talking about the Gospel passages. He was always a mentor, a spiritual director, and a very close friend. As I grew older, my love for Fr Joe and Jesus grew deeper, I answered a deep yearning to do more and was ordained in 2003 as a Deacon in the roman catholic diocese of Albany. All through my training and early years as a Deacon, I always could count on Fr Joe to help me with homilies, talks and teaching. He and Sr Dorothy were my heroes, and the source of God’s shinning light in my life. Fr Joe asked me at that time, if I would take over and continue the talks and retreats for him when he was no longer able to do so. I was so embarrassed I asked him if he was sure he had the right person.  Much to my surprise, I broke down and my heart was filled with the joy of the spirit as he said, I have known you since you were a little boy, and you and I have the same spirituality and love for Jesus. I have never left his side. We have started many ministries together, supporting food pantries in rural areas, 3 in Schoharie county, opening our first Joshua food pantry in Montgomery county. We have site plans and floor plans, and are in the stages of final approval for building homes for seniors, at no cost to them, who can not afford to live on social security, going without heat in the winter, food, many without fresh drinking water, and losing their homes because they cant afford to pay the taxes. We are also continuing the talks in Altamont NY at the Joshua house, the first and second Tuesday of every month, at 1071 Joshua lane. We will again begin to give retreats, based on getting to know the Jesus Fr Joe got us all to fall in love with . Sr Dorothy will also be a part of our work moving forward, committed to keeping Fr Joe’s dreams alive, and allowing all of us, and many others to fall in love with the Jesus Fr Joe gave to us.

Fr Joe passed on November 29th at 3:48pm, it was the first Sunday of Advent, as all of us prepare for the coming of Jesus, how fitting that Fr Joe be at his side helping to draw us closer to his friend and to share in the joy of embracing a God who is longing to embrace us. The funeral liturgy will be December 12th at 11am, at St John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady NY across from Union college. Viewing hours at 9 am until 1045 am, before the funeral liturgy. Fr Joe will be buried at the Joshua house in Altamont, next to Joey.

In lieu  of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to the Joshua Foundation, to continue the work that Fr Joe started, they can be sent to The Joshua Foundation 1071 Joshua Lane Altamont NY 12009.

” A voice of one crying out in the desert, prepare the way of the Lord. make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill made low; The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God”  The Gospel passage for the 2nd week of Advent , how appropriate.

Your Friend in Jesus

Deacon Gary Riggi

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Givers and Takers

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I have found that there are two basic types of personalities that affect the whole world, and that is Givers and Takers.

Takers know only how to take until there is nothing left to take.  Any giving person who marries a taker will be totally drained by the relationship, and end up with a most miserable life.   The world is full of takers.  You can see it in our politics, especially in our present house of representatives.    Sometimes the Democrats may give away too much.  However, you can judge a person by which type they are.

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When do we ever Consider God’s interests in Decisions we Make

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September 10, 2014

One thing strange about religious people and institutions is that they rarely, if ever, consider God’s views, only what is viable politically or personally for humanly practical needs and benefits.  When  God began to formalize and become involved with his children, he told them that he would be their king and that he would care for and protect them from wars.  But they didn’t listen, and they chose wars in place of God.  In God’s eyes wars are the most offense events because they are calculated to destroy God’s children.  Logically, then, military institutions must be the most offensive organization on this earth because their only purpose is to destroy God’s children, and each war sows the seed for the next war to destroy more of God’s children by the hatred generated by the previous wars.

It is critical that we consider God’s interest when we make critical decisions.

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Jesus has the Secret to our whole Life

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September 1, 2014

Jesus has the key to our whole life’s future.  He is a fun ‘God and wants to lead us on a dramatic and enjoyable adventure through life.  Accept him as your partner and follow where he leads.  You will have more fun than you ever imagine.

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Only God can fill the Emptiness of the Human Soul

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august 30, 2014

The huge void in the human soul can be filled only by God.  Friends come and go. Recognizing Jesus as our only real Soul mate fills that void, and his presence within us is all we need.

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Called to Serve

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August 31, 2014

Who am i?  I don’t know.  All I know is that I have been called to be a servant, a servant of Jesus to bring his love to all God’s children, like all Jesus’ disciples are called to do.

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As Long as we can Dream, we can grow. When we stop dreaming we begin go die

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When we stop dreaming of all the adventures that are open to us, we begin to die.  From then on we live with our pains and aches and imagined miseries until we decide we have little to live for.  How sad because our God is a fun God if only we can embrace his dreams for a life of adventure for us!

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Goodbye, Dear Friend

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August 16, 2014

Sixteen years ago Sister Dorothy and I went to China.  We met two people and the lives of the four of us were changed dramatically.  One person was Madame Xinan Zhu, the director of education for Guilin, the cultural capital of China.  The other was Lin Chuan, the commander of the Communist forces that conquered all of South China.  Madame Zhu belonged to the imperial family, the descendants of the Ming dynasty.  They lived in the imperial palace.  Her earliest memories were of her mother  bringing her to Mass every Sunday morning.  When the Communists took over the imperial palace they drove the family out into the street, where the mother and her unborn child died. The father was later killed by the Communists.  Xinan was taken over and made into a Communist and an atheist.  The educated her and gave her high positions and as director of educator had hundreds of thousands of students under her jurisdiction.   She  became a dear friend in the few hours we spent with her.  Lin Chuan was also the mayor of Shantou and built the magnificent University of Shantou in gleaming marbleized stone.  When we met the first thing he said to me was, “Our people crave for spirituality and there is nowhere we can find it in China.  We desperately need your books to be translated into Chinese because they are all about spirituality.  That man went with me every place I went, and against the advice of his assistance because of ill health, went to the airport to see me off.

When Sister Dorothy and I returned home, I contacted the people in Washington, DC who arrange for the National Prayer Breakfast every year, to invite my two Chinese friends, which they did. Lin Chuan could not make it but Xinan did.  When she arrived in Washington I picked her up and brought her to my town house in Alexandria,  Virginia, where she spent her time while in the country.  She learned much at the Prayer Breakfast and met Hillary Clinton and President Clinton  and was overwhelmed with the 4000 diplomats and heads of state from over a 100 different countries and religions, all meeting in Jesus’ name as the only viable guide to  world peace and praying for each other’s countries.  Have read Joshua While in my house she came down for breakfast one morning and said, “Last night God came to me.  It was like a dream but it was not a dream.  It was really God.  God is so beautiful. God is all love.”  Then she got teary-eyed and cut herself short.

When she went back to China, she introduced throughout her whole vast educational system, from kindergarten to graduate school and teachers college all that she had learned in Washington.  At the end of the year, the officials in Beijing called her to Beijing and told her that there was a dramatic change in her school system which was powerful.   Previously the area was ridden with crime and drug abuse.  During the past year there was not one incident of crime or drug abuse, and it had to be like a miracle.  They sent Xinan to share this with other school systems in key cities, and listed Xinan as 1 of a 100 most important and influential women in China, and had the story published in all the major publications throughout China and Hong Kong.

When she returned home to Guilin, the local Communist officials were furious because she had changed the curriculum.  The put  her in a cave and made her write all she had learned in Washington.  Then the locked her in her house and put a network of surveillances around the house and would not allow her to husband, a doctor, to go home.  He got word to Xinan that the officials had decided to kill  her, so she should try to get out of the country as soon as possible.  She contacted me and asked if I could help.  We were able to develop a plan that, thank God, worked, and she made her way to Canada.   Although there were insurmountable obstacles, which even congressmen were unable to overcome, I wrote a letter to the woman in charge of the American Embassy in Toronto pleading desperately for help and understanding.  She was kind enough to give Xinan a visa for six months and said to make sure we could get done what had to get done in those six months. We finally got political asylum for Xinan, and she has been working with people at the National Prayer Breakfast office for the past fifteen years and after she asked me if I could baptize her as a Catholic, she has touched thousands of lives by the beauty of her love of Jesus who radiates from her deeply spiritual soul.

Yesterday she informed me that she has not been well and that since her daughter and husband and two children have to go back to China where he works, she needs to be with her family, especially with the grandchildren.  My heart broke and we cried like little children and tried to say “Goodbye,” but couldn’t.   Tomorrow she leaves.  During her time here she translated JOSHUA into Chinese and is has been translating my daily messages into Chinese and making them available.  We will still work together trying to make Jesus better known throughout China.   The Joshua ministry will not be alive in China.  God works in mysterious, even if sometimes in painful ways.  Please pray for Xinan for God to protect her from any of her old enemies who may have been following her every move since she came to the United States.

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Sorry I’ve been not here lately; a little bit of drama

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August 4, 2014

Two weeks ago, I felt myself getting weaker and weaker each day and by the end of the week I had the strangest feeling I was dying.  I wasn’t frightened but just disappointed that I had never prepared anybody for all the complicated things I have been involved with so many people in different states and foreign countries.  Knowing that I had an appointment in two days with my cardiologist I decided to tell him what I was experiencing.  He tested my blood and sent me immediately to my primary care doctor who took my blood again and tested it. By then my red blood cell count had dropped already 2 more points.  He sent me immediately to the emergency ward at St. Peter’s hospital where they took me immediately and took my blood for another test and got a team of different doctors to find out where I was bleeding. Nobody could find any sign of internal bleeding from any of my organs.  At that point a physician’s assistant came into my hospital room and sat down and told me his name, Murtaza Singaporewala, a Shiite Muslim.  He said he used to work for Borders Bookstore 20 years ago when JOSHUA became and international phenomenon, he had followed me ever since and was now so happy he could be of help to me.  So, what he did was take my blood and test it, and in ten minutes found out what was wrong; my auto-immune system was destroying my red blood cells as they were being introduced into the blood stream and in two days more I would have no red blood cells and no oxygen, and that could end my life.  He told the other doctors and the head of the hematology team, Dr. Qui Zen.  He accepted the finding and immediately gave me 80 mgs of prednisone, and a blood transfusion, which my young godson, Peter Della Ratta recommended to boost the oxygen level.  (Peter knew nothing but what he learned studying about anemia on the computer the night before.)  The doctor did add the blood transfusion, and within one hour I was like a new man.    Hopefully, the doctors think that within a month or so of this program, the problem should be ended and may never come back again.

But, while I was in the hospital, there was a young man in the bed next to me who was very, very sick and doctors in various major hospitals could not find the cause.  He hadn’t eaten in days and his family were beside themselves.  I talked to him and we became friends.  When he overheard the Muslim doctor talking with me the way he did and how my life was an adventure with Jesus, the young room mate was impressed, and later said to me, “I have learned a lot in the past two days, and I finally realized that I have to find Jesus and become close to him, and I learned a lot of other things, too.”  I told him I learned a lot from him as well, and he said, “I think we must be soul mates.”  The boy is a pre-med student.  That afternoon his doctor came in and said he was going to prescribe a medicine that he thought might work. An hour later I went home, and when I left, I told him that I think that he will be realized the next day, too, because I think that Jesus arranged for us to meet and now that we have, there’s no need for you to be here either. He emailed me when I got home, and said how uncanny it was because he was going to be released the next day.  What I learned is that Jesus has a strange sense of humor that we both had to meet as very sick patients in the same hospital room at the same three days, but I guess that the sicknesses were what brought about all the fuss and the right topics of the conversations.

At one point in the second day when the Muslim was there to see me, a dear friend who is dying of Lou Gehrig disease, came to see me at the same time, so we had a Catholic priest, a Muslim and a Jew having fun over the beautiful experience.  How delicately Jesus arranges even such small details! And also now I owe my life to the brilliance of a Muslim doctor whom Jesus picked to help me!  Also, when some people cynically ask,  “Where are there any Muslim hospitals?”  I can only answer, “One third of the doctors, nurses and assistants at St. Peter’s and also around the country are Muslims.  So, they would rather work in Catholic hospitals rather than build their own.”

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