From Florida Catholic:
Something old and something new. No, it was not a wedding. It was May 23, the first time 102-year-old Father Phillip Brady celebrated Mass with his great nephew, Transitional Deacon Kyle McClure. Father Pat, as Deacon McClure refers to his great uncle, has been a priest for 77 years. Understanding the fleeting nature of time, Deacon McClure made the trip from Florida to Buffalo, New York “to be able to pray a Mass with him not knowing if he’ll make it to my priesthood Ordination (May 2022) and knowing it would bring him a lot of joy…”
Cousins, aunts, and uncles also traveled for the celebration, longing to share the memorable occasion. They joined residents in the chapel built for Father Pat at the retirement home where he’s lived for 11 years.
Deacon McClure’s great uncle has been a mentor and inspiration, writing the seminarian, then deacon for eight years while in formation. The two spoke of the commonalities of their formation and the differences. In his day, Father Pat was a deacon for only three months before being ordained to the priesthood. A sign of the era in which he lived, he said this was the first time he celebrated Mass with a deacon.
Father Pat decided to become a priest in third grade at St. Mark Parish in Buffalo. A priest asked his catechism class, “How many boys want to become priests? And I raised my hand. From then on, I never thought of anything else,” he said with satisfaction in his voice.
Despite the pandemic, Father Pat celebrated daily Mass until this Easter. An injury sidelined him for about a month, but he soon resumed Sunday celebration of the liturgy. Deacon McClure did not want to miss the opportunity to assist his great uncle at liturgy. Father Pat recalled “it was quite an experience,” adding, “He’s a wonderful boy. I like him a lot.”