Daily Postings

Our Dear Friend Fr Joe

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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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