Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

“Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen, He is not here; see the place where they laid Him.”

At Pope Benedict XVI’s Easter Vigil Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, the honor of proclaiming the above words belonged to an alumnus of the College, Rev. Mr. Francis Marotti (’07), who chanted the Gospel (Mk. 16:1-7). The proclamation can be found at the 96:30 mark in the video below:

Rev. Mr. Marotti, a transitional deacon from the Diocese of Kalamazoo (Mich.), is currently studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. In January he was honored to chant the Gospel at the papal Mass of the Epiphany.

Please remember to pray for Deacon Marotti who, God willing, will be ordained to the priesthood on June 23.


Michael J. Paietta ('83)On the morning of Tuesday, April 4, friends, family, and many members of the Thomas Aquinas College community gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles for the funeral Mass of longtime tutor and alumnus Michael J. Paietta (’83).

Mr. Paietta died late in the evening of March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, 16 days after entering the hospital with symptoms suggestive of a heart attack. Just prior to his passing, he received the last rites, including absolution and an apostolic blessing, from College chaplain Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O.Praem (’78).

Fr. Garceau also served as one of the concelebrants at Mr. Paietta’s funeral Mass, joined at the altar by fellow chaplain, Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P, and a former head chaplain, Rev. Michael Perea, O.Praem. The principal celebrant was Monsignor Kevin Kostelnik, pastor of Our Lady of the Angels, where Mr. Paietta’s mother, Kay, is a parishioner.  Following the Mass, Mr. Paietta's remains were interred in the Cathedral's crypt mausoleum, alongside his late father and brother.

Delivering the first eulogy was Daniel Paietta, who recalled his oldest brother’s great love of literature and encyclopedic memory. “Michael was the first Thomas Aquinas College graduate to get a perfect score on the GRE — in English, of course,” he remarked. “When one of the tutors asked him if he really knew all of the vocabulary words, he said, ‘Well, no, I did have to guess on one of them.”

Mr. Paietta’s former Thomas Aquinas College roommate and colleague on the faculty, Dr. Glen Coughlin, offered a second eulogy. “Michael was no scholar interested merely in the opinions and actions of men for their own sakes. His life was a pursuit of truth itself. His soul turned naturally to the nature of things, to the consideration of how we should live, to the highest and the best things, to the infinite good that Dante speaks of,” said Dr. Coughlin. “He was not content to know that someone else knew something or thought something. He wanted to know for himself.”


A Lifelong Scholar
From even his earliest days, Michael Paietta had a zeal for obtaining knowledge and a passion for sharing it with those around him. After serving a number of years in the U.S. Navy and briefly attending the University of California, Los Angeles, he enrolled at Thomas Aquinas College as a 25-year-old freshman in 1979. He graduated from the College in 1983 and went on to the University of Notre Dame, where he did his graduate and doctoral work.

In 1989 Mr. Paietta returned Thomas Aquinas College as a member of the teaching faculty. “Mike was noteworthy for his love of literature, music, and baseball,” observed his colleague of many years, President Michael McLean. “Not only did he love these things, he sought to understand everything about them. Above all, though, he was devoted to understanding the thought of our patron, St. Thomas, and was particularly sure that discussions with our founders, Ron McArthur, Jack Neumayr, and Mark Berquist, would help him in that pursuit.”

Dr. Paul O’Reilly, a longtime fellow tutor and the College’s vice president for development, offered a personal reflection saying, “Mike had a tremendous wit and a remarkable memory. We all wanted him on our trivial pursuit team. And those who had him on their team were on the winning side.” Reflecting on Mr. Paietta’s life, Dean Brian T. Kelly added, “Mike cared deeply about his students and mingled with them frequently in the dining hall. His deep-rooted sense of loyalty was manifest in his abiding love for the Catholic Church, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He will be sorely missed.”

This sense of loss, however, was perhaps most poignantly expressed by an anonymous student who shares his late tutor’s love of poetry:

If only Life might slow its hurried pace,
That all the grief might pour like winter rain
From out the soul that weeps with hidden face
And feels the greatest depths of human pain.
I ask not end, but merely wish for pause,
As babes at nighttime cry out for the sun,
To have an end to sorrows without cause,
To weep when death begins and life is done.
I should have known him better than I do,
Though humor, knowledge, wisdom did I see,
And this enlightened, now I see the true,
I know he’s gone and feel but misery.
We’ll miss you, less as tutor than as friend,
We’ll love you, Mike Paietta, to the end.

A memorial Mass for Mr. Paietta will be offered at a later date in the College’s chapel of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Details will be provided on the Thomas Aquinas College website when they are available. Please keep Mr. Paietta and his family in your prayers.

May his soul and those of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


Michael J. Paietta ('83)

The funeral Mass for longtime tutor and alumnus Michael J. Paietta (’83) will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 3, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Mr. Paietta’s mother is a parishioner there, and he will be interred in the mausoleum underneath the Cathedral alongside his father and brother.

Directions and Parking: See the Cathedral’s website for directions. There are garage entrances on both Temple or Hill streets. Although the posted parking fee is $16 per hour, funeral attendees will receive validation for a flat rate of $5 (the rate the Cathedral has contracted with the owners of the garage). A brunch/reception will immediately follow the funeral in one of the Cathedral’s function rooms.

Information about the College’s memorial Mass for Mr. Paietta in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel will be posted when it is available. Please continue to keep Mr. Paietta and his family in your prayers.
 


Michael J. Paietta ('83)

Thomas Aquinas College tutor and alumnus Michael J. Paietta (’83) died late in the evening of March 25, 16 days after entering the hospital with symptoms suggestive of a heart attack. Just prior to his passing, he received the last rites, including absolution and an apostolic blessing from College chaplain Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O.Praem (’78).

Mr. Paietta served for a number of years in the U.S. Navy and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, for a short time before enrolling at Thomas Aquinas College as a 25-year-old freshman in 1979. He graduated from the college in 1983 and went on to the University of Notre Dame, where he did his graduate and doctoral work. In 1989 Mr. Paietta returned to the College as a member of the teaching faculty.

Mourning the loss of his one-time student and colleague of many years, President Michael McLean said, “Mike was noteworthy for his love of literature, music, and baseball. Not only did he love these things, he sought to understand everything about them. Above all, though, he was devoted to understanding the thought of our patron, St. Thomas, and was particularly sure that discussions with our founders, Ron McArthur, Jack Neumayr, and Mark Berquist, would help him in that pursuit.”

Reflecting on Mr. Paietta’s life, Dean Brian T. Kelly noted, “Mike was a unique and beloved member of the Thomas Aquinas College community. He cared deeply about his students and mingled with them frequently in the dining hall. In class and at meals, he displayed charity, good cheer, and an extremely dry wit. Mike taught a range of courses in philosophy, theology, science, and mathematics. But he especially loved the arts; I trusted implicitly his views on literature and music, and happily followed many of his movie recommendations. His deep-rooted sense of loyalty was manifest in his abiding love for the Catholic Church, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Paul O’Reilly, a longtime fellow tutor and the College’s Vice President for Development, added a personal reflection saying, “Mike had a tremendous wit and a remarkable memory. We all wanted him on our trivial pursuit team. And those who had him on their team were on the winning side.”

Funeral arrangements for Mr. Paietta are pending. A memorial Mass will be offered at a later date in the college’s chapel of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. Details will be provided on the College’s website when they are available.

Please keep Mr. Paietta and his family in your prayers.

May his soul and those of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

 


Rosie Grimm ('10)News from Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer:

Rose Grimm (’76), Rosie’s mother, says, “Thank you all so much for your prayers for Rosie. Finally we have started treatment — radiation for the remaining tumor in her neck and immunotherapy, which attempts to stimulate her own immune system to kill the cancerous cells. Please pray for Rosie to dodge the possible serious side effects which can be associated with both of these treatments, especially the immunotherapy. Most people don’t get them — we want her to be in that group. We are feeling the effect of your prayers on our spirits and our sense of peace — and I know Rosie’s treatment will go so much better because of them. Thank you so much.”

Additionally please pray for Rosie’s pain to be relieved. Thank you!


Michael J. Paietta ('83)News from Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer:

Mike’s doctors are optimistic that his aorta will heal itself over time, but they have found that his kidneys are not functioning properly and that he also has pneumonia. Mike has been sedated this past week and is receiving dialysis daily, but the doctors hope to diminish the sedative and have him sit up so as to improve his breathing. The doctors are not being very forthcoming at this point, though they do say that Mike is not getting worse. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Thank you!

 


Michael J. PaiettaPlease pray for an alumnus and member of the College’s teaching faculty, Michael J. Paietta (’83). Michael was admitted to the hospital Friday, March 9, with symptoms suggestive of heart attack. He was admitted to the ICU, and he took a turn for the worse the next night. His current condition is listed as “guarded.” Please keep him in your prayers.


 


Last night Jonathan Monnereau (’05), president of the Thomas Aquinas College Alumni Association, sent out the following urgent prayer request for Matthew Wise (’06):

“As most of you have probably heard or read by now, alumnus Matthew Wise (’06) is suffering from a serious case of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

“As of today’s date, he has been in the ICU for 46 days. Those of you who have been following his condition on Facebook know that it has been an ongoing roller-coaster ride. Needless to say, prayers are crucial right now

“Therefore, as a united body, I would ask those of you so inclined, to join me in praying a Novena in honor of the Immaculate Conception. Beginning today, we will conclude on the vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.”

Please join us in praying this Novena.
 

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Matthew Wise ('06)It is with heavy hearts that we pass along the following words from Sue and Mike Wise, parents of Matthew (’06), for whom so many alumni and friends of the College have been praying:

“Our beloved son, Matthew Joseph Wise, passed away peacefully at 8:27 this evening, November 30th, of heart failure. We're so grateful for all of your sincere prayers and support throughout his ordeal. 

“The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away ... blessed be the name of the Lord!

“Matthew, we are so honored to have been your parents. We love you honey! We will always love you!”

Please pray for the repose of Matthew’s soul and the consolation of his family.


Matthew Wise ('06)Thank you to everyone who has been keeping Matthew Wise (’06) in prayer! Matthew has been hospitalized for three weeks due to a lung infection and resulting complications. Doctors have performed numerous procedures and operations, but he remains in intensive care, heavily sedated. His family is asking for prayers through the intercession of St. Gerard and Bl. Francis Seelos.

For regular updates on Matthew’s status, please see the Prayers for Matthew Wise Facebook page, established by his Class of 2003 classmate Steve Six. Please continue to pray for Matthew’s recovery and for the strength and well-being of his family.