October 14, 2016
Dear Friends of St. Anne's Shrine,
It is with profound sadness that I inform you that my brother Edmundite priest, Fr. Mike Cronogue, died yesterday afternoon of a sudden and massive heart attack in his office at Saint Michael's College where he worked with us in Campus Ministry. I was with Fr. Mike during the incident and we prayed together celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Saint Michael's Rescue Squad and hospital Emergency Department personnel did their best to save Fr. Mike but his heart was not able to regain pumping blood. We are all very sad at this time but the faith celebrated in the resurrection at the Vigil Prayer Service last night with a near full chapel reminded us once again of the brevity of human life and that our true pilgrimage journey is toward God.
Fr. Mike as Superior General of the Society of St. Edmund enthusiastically supported the development of St. Anne’s Shrine with the construction of our overnight retreat facilities which are now in its fourth year of successful operation. With his leadership and shared vision, we were able to accomplish good things for the people of God and the proclamation of the Gospel. Fr. Mike enjoyed celebrating Mass and preaching at the Shrine, battling the cold weather as we opened in May and closed in October. He was the light of Christ to many and now he joins the eternal banquet with many other beloved Edmundites such as Frs. Maurice Boucher and Joe Hart, who also served the people of God faithfully at the Shrine.
May the following words of Jesus from the Gospel of John increase our faith and be the source of abiding hope:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:1-6)
Please keep our Edmundite Community in your prayers at this time. May Fr. Mike’s soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
In our Risen Lord,
Rev. Brian J. Cummings, S.S.E.