A few moments ago I spoke via telephone with a Catholic gentleman, a beloved husband, a father and dear friend. His name is John Vennari, and he was told earlier today by his doctors that he is now in the “active stages of dying.”
John asked me to do him a favor and help notify his many, many friends all around the world that he may not live to see his birthday on Friday. He wishes everyone to know that he’s not in pain. He wishes us all to know that, as he put it, “either we believe in Divine Providence or we don’t. I believe in it, and I know that God has known for all eternity that I would be here in this hospital today, ready to die.”
John also believes in miracles, as do I. And so anything is possible with God. But John said nothing about miracles. I think he wants us all to know that he’s ready, that he loves God, and that his faith is so much stronger than his body just now. He wants our prayers.
After all this man has done for us, for the Church, for the Catholic cause, I don’t think I need to beg for prayers for John Vennari. All I need to do is tell you that this beautiful soul wants us to pray for him, and I know that tens of thousands of grateful Catholics will do it.
His last words to me just now were to plead that, no matter what happens, we not give up the fight for Catholic restoration. “Please, keep it going. You must continue the fight for the Cause.” What does it say about the caliber of this warrior for Christ that, from what his doctors are now calling his deathbed, John Vennari’s concerns are still for the Traditional Catholic cause he defended all his life.
I will share whatever updates and information I receive from John and his dear wife, Susan—who now stands faithful watch at John’s side. Also, please pray for John’s beloved young daughters, Elizabeth and Philomena, and for his loyal son, Benedict, but especially for their dad who they love and cherish and respect more deeply than I can describe.
Thank you, John, for everything. God is with you, Mary is at your side and, all over the world, thousands of your brothers and sisters in Christ are with you right now, every step of the way, united with you in prayer. You are not alone, and your unshakable faith shines like a beacon for us all. Pray for us, John. And I know you know these are the most difficult words I’ve ever had to write.
God bless you, and Mary keep.
St. Philomena and Our Lady of Fatima—please pray for our brother John.
Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000. Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll)and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.