Yesterday I received an e-mail from former St. Stanislaus trustee Nancy M. The "Subject" line read "Sad News." This was a very thoughtful way of preparing us for the knowledge that former St. Stanislaus trustee, Jack Gavin, had passed that morning.Jack Gavin was not Polish, but joined the parish because he liked it, because, once tried, it felt like home. He was in the rotation as Lector and served with a professional-quality broadcast voice and diction, a ready improvisational wit and a sense of humor. He was our traditional Christmas Eve lector, where he narrated our lessons and carols, finding a permanent place for a Navajo prayer in the sequence of Polish "Kalendy" and traditional American favorites.
Jack was one of the delegation that met with Bishop Dennis Sullivan during the Archdiocese of New York's 'Realignment' process. St. Stanislaus Kostka could not have had a better representative.My heart would lift when I saw Jack. He always had a smile, a wickedly accurate observation and a warm show of support. He was there at civic events, veteran memorials, and church socials. He spread his talent farther afield by educating senior citizens in the intricacies of Medicare and healthcare benefits.
Though Jack never set foot in Our Lady of Vilnius, he knew that my grandparents had worshipped there, that I attended Mass there when on hiatus from the St. Stanislaus choir and that I had sought refuge there after St. Stanislaus closed, calling it "the Greenwich Village St. Stanislaus." I hereby consider him a member of our Broome Street basement community of saints, where he would have been in his element kibitzing with the 2 Joes, P & Z, and the guys from the Knickerbocker Council K of L.
Jack left us from time to time for a soujourn in the hospital. We felt a little lost while he was gone and prayed that he would be restored to us and, until now, he always had been. We will pray that he rests in peace with Christ, Our Savior, and that he will continue to help us through the inspiration of his memory and by praying for us. We will also pray for the consolation of his wife, Rita, his children and those left forlorn by his passing.
CLICK HERE to view his obituary in our local paper, The Journal News.
CLICK HERE to read acknowledgement and tribute from the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson.