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In Memoriam: Father Nicholas Gruner (1942 – 2015)



Father Nicholas Gruner R.I.P.

May 4, 1942 – April 29, 2015

“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” -Matthew 5:8

Four years ago, Our Lord took Father Gruner from among us, and we looked about for a time, feeling rather lost, wondering who or what could fill the vacancy left in our lives and in the world. But we soon discovered that Father was still with us, in the work he had begun and which we were to continue. Father poured his heart and soul into The Fatima Center. And he taught all who worked with him what it means to have purpose: a single, clear, ever-present purpose.

Father was that all too rare human being: one who was pure in heart. This made it a blessing to be around him and also a trial, for few of us could match his single-minded fervor and tireless dedication. We saw in him what we could be, and we also saw how far we had to travel to that goal. Father lived for one thing: the love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We live for many things and our attention and energies are divided. But we need the pure of heart, the one whose eye is single and whose body is full of light, to draw us toward the holiness that should be the focus of our lives. Father was a beacon of light to all who knew him.

And even now, we know that Father is pouring out his soul in love to Our Lady and longing for Her triumph. We know that he is imploring for us all the Heavenly help that we need to bring his mission – the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – to its fulfillment. And the key to the consecration, as Father was always to remind us, is in our hands. If we give ourselves to Our Lady and live Her Fatima Message, She will pour out the graces needed for the Pope and bishops to perform the consecration.

So, on this day, let us recall this pure soul that lived among us for a time and showed us what grace can make of a man, what grace can make of you and me. And let us continue the work Father began and bring to it all the fervor, all the single-minded devotion we possess. We are not alone, as Father used to remind us. We have a Mother in Heaven watching over us and helping us at every turn. And, as Father requested while he was with us, let us pray for his soul. We may be confident that Father is in Heaven, but he begged us not to be presumptuous and to pray for him when he was gone. So, this day, let’s all turn to Our Lady and say a prayer that Her faithful servant, Father Nicholas Gruner, may soon be at Her side, if he is not there already.

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