Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 24, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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October 24, 1998
 

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Archbishop Thomas McDonough (with crosier) of Louisville, Ky., was the ordaining prelate and mentor to Bishop McDonald. Also in atten- dance were Bishop Gerald Frey of Savannah (left) and Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans. death. I feel confident that James and Theresa are up there looking after me, so that I won't make too n any mistakes. This letter gave rne time to notify all of my broth- ers, sisters, relatives and friends: "TUesday, July 4 is the anniver- Sary of my mother's death. You axe invited to attend an anniver- Sary Mass for her in Blessed , SaCrament Church at 8 a.m. COffee and doughnuts will be Served in the rectory after Mass. Members of the family who can- not COme are invited to call long distance after 9 o'clock for a fam- ily reunion:' From Thursday on, the pres- SUre became almost unbearable. ]]]e hours moved so slowly into days. Momentarily, joy entered in 0rl Friday with the arrival from Macon of Father John Hurley. He Vas returning to perform two veddings, which had been arranged before his transfer. He recounted his experiences as a pastor. We laughed that ight until tears streamed down OUr cheeks. A shortness of breath Vas noted. He said, "I think I have asthma; I've had to prop October 24, 1998 myself up with pillows in the bed every night. I feel weak many times during the day;' On Saturday, our joy turned into unbelievable sorrow. Father got through the first marriage with great difficulty. I had to take the second one. I summoned good Dr. Broderick. After a brief exam- ination, he recommended a few days in St. Joseph Hospital. Father drove himself to the hospital. I spent a restless night for two rea- sons now. On Sunday morning, with tears in his eyes, Dr. Broderick gave me his prelimi- nary diagnosis: "Leukemia,' I sat there in disbelief. I responded with tears. Now, there was a race with the clock. Father was so weak, so sick - would he even be alive on July 47 I could not even ask the question. During these last days I pre- pared stencils, giving my autobi- ography, statements to be released to the media, telegrams, etc. On Monday afternoon, Father Frank Donahue, editor of the Southern Cross was notified. He called me, "Are you ready?" "Yes," I said, "but I don't know how to run this damn (no, I did- n't say that because I don't use that kind of language) machine:' "Oh, I can do that," he said. When Father came, he looked at the machine and said, "No, I don't know how to run that one:' The secretary, Retta O'Hara, had already gone for the day. I called her. She was not home. Then, I called Lois Haslam. "Lois," I said, "this impossible Father Donahue is out here. He has some stencils to be run. They are so secret that the girls in his office can't look at them; I may not see them; you may not see them:' She came and carefully fed the machine with- out even taking a peek. She said to Father, "How many copies do 29