Terminally ill priest meets with Pope, offers sufferings for the Church

From CNA:

Terminally ill priest meets with Pope, offers sufferings for the Church

Vatican City, Nov 19, 2009 / 02:02 pm (CNA).- Father Luigi Squarcia, a pastor in the Italian town of Acquapendente who has suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease for the last four years, met with Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday and offered his “sufferings for the good of the Church.”

After the meeting with the Holy Father in Paul VI Hall, Father Squarcia said, “I came to offer the Pope my sufferings for the good of the Church.  I am here, for the first time, after years of working with the parishioners and the children at our school.”

Now, he told L’Osservatore Romano, “I can no longer move my arms or legs and I know I will lose my speech and later maybe the ability to breathe.”  He noted that more people than ever are coming to him for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Lou Gehrig’s disease is a serious neuromuscular disorder that causes muscle weakness, disability and eventually death.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. paladin says:

    Oh, wow.

    We seriously need Saints like this, today. What a contrast to the “me” generation! This holy priest is probably making up for the shortfalls of dozens of other people, in sending grace through the spiritual pipelines for the world (cf. Colossians 1:24, etc.)!

  2. Ogard says:

    For everyone who is suffering: JP II: Salvifici Doloris, Apostolic Letter on suffering.

  3. Mike says:

    God bless this priest! The core of our Faith–the co-Redemption! I imagine B16, with holy joy, and holy sadness, accepted this gift for all of us.

  4. lucy says:

    May God bless this good priest in his suffering. We surely need his offerings.

  5. RichR says:


    Here is another great book on how to offer up suffering:

    Why Squander Illness?

    I think our modern society needs the Catholic message of the redemptive value of suffering when united to Our Lord’s Passion. So many people today say, “I hope I go quickly without any suffering. Give me a car wreck or a sudden heart attack….not some degenerative illness.” This is the most dangerous wish you could have because you are denying yourself the chance to prepare your soul for death with the sacraments and any reparation you need to do in life. People used to say, “Did he get to see a priest before he died? Was he reconciled to God?”

    My how things have changed.

  6. Rob Cartusciello says:

    My 30 year old cousin died of ALS last year. Father Squarcia is on a difficult road, and his example is edifying.

    Praise God that he can still administer the Sacrament of Confession, and I am thankful his parishoners take advantage of this grace.

    I will pray for him.

  7. Matthew in Vancouver says:

    What a great example for us all!

    A priest in our Archdiocese of Vancouver, Msgr. Donald Neumann, suffered from cancer for many years. He died in 2003, but offered his sufferings for vocations. In the summer of 2006, five men were ordained to the priesthood! I believe that has happened only once before in the Archdiocese.

    Uniting our sufferings with the Passion of Our Lord can really bring about marvelous graces!

  8. Singing Mum says:

    And we can offer our minor sufferings up for Fr. Squarcia, that he will be well cared for, and that many will come to Jesus and His Church through the example of this priest’s heroic love.

  9. C. says:

    Wow. THANK YOU, Father Squarcia!

  10. trespinos says:

    Yes, God bless Don Luigi for his loving offering.

    In the charity of your prayers, please remember also Leonard Lombardi, OCDS, who was diagnosed this summer with perhaps the most aggressive form of ALS and is experiencing a rapid progression of the disease.

  11. Clinton says:

    God bless the good Father. It is humbling to read such an achingly beautiful story.

  12. ckdexterhaven says:

    Thank you, Father Squarcia.

    I didn’t even know what “offering up” was until about 3 years go. I learned it on a Catholic Blog. I have had some serious illnesses in the past, and I regret that I didn’t “offer up” my suffering. In today’s world, it may seem old fashioned, but we need this now more than ever.

    God Bless you, Father Squarcia.

  13. irishgirl says:

    God bless Don Luigi-may his sufferings draw down graces upon the Church!

    I imagine that the Holy Father was greatly moved by this!

  14. Prof. Basto says:


    May God comfort him in his hour of suffering and trial.

  15. RosaMystica says:

    I know a local priest who is also offering his suffering, specifically for priests (he has had multiple surgeries for joint problems and is still pastoring a parish). I suspect there are many saintly priests out there who are quietly suffering for the good of us all. God bless them.

Comments are closed.