Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As we’re all busy preparing for and looking forward with joy and hope to the celebration of Christmas, it seems to me this Christmas brings a tinge of sadness too this year. I’m referring to the health challenges that our dear Fr. Jim McGee has been facing especially in the last few weeks. Hence, I’d like to give you an update on his health.
Of late, we, the staff and clergy noticed changes in Fr. Jim’s health, and at times he also communicated it to us. After much discussion and consultation, we felt the need to ask for help and advice, and so contacted Carolyn Steele the Health Manager of Retired Priests of the Diocese of Oakland. She talked to Fr. Jim and members of the staff and recommended that Fr. Jim needed medical attention.
He went with us to the ER at John Muir Hospital and spent three days in the hospital. The doctors who attended to him decided that it wasn’t safe for Fr. Jim to continue to live one his own and that he needed constant attention and assistance. They recommended that he be placed under professional health care service.
Keeping in mind, the filial relationship that Fr. Jim has with our Parish Community, we looked for a place close to St. John Vianney, and I’m glad and grateful that we found one in Atria, Walnut Creek. Fr. Jim has been admitted to the memory care section of Atria Walnut Creek, 1400 Montego. He knows that his Alzheimer’s has progressed to the point where it was time to move. Fr. Jim has been very gracious and generous in the way he embraced this new transition. He’s grateful to St. John Vianney and to all who have assisted him thus far. I for my part would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to Debbie Mellin, C. J. Tutt, the members of the staff and others who have been of great assistance to him.
Although the staff and I were planning to streamline visits to him through Signup Genius for his own convenience as I said last weekend at all Masses, it is my understanding that Fr. Jim would like to receive visitors now. So please feel free to drop in and say “Hello” to him or send cards and thoughtful notes and above all continue to hold him in your prayers.
May God bless Fr. Jim as he begins this new phase of his life.
United with you in praying for Fr. Jim,
Fr. William Rosario