Rev. Msgr. Patrick J. Armshaw
A Message from Fr. Peter Kaczmarek
Rev. Msgr. Patrick J. Armshaw
Requiescat in pace!
May he rest in peace!
Your battle is over, Fr. Pat.
Whenever I think of Father Pat, I think of him still in Cathedral College Prep Seminary (High School) calling out “Tablet ten cents, tablet 10 cents!” on the front steps of our parish church. He was selling the Brooklyn Diocese newspaper. Fr. Pat, being 8 years older than me, remembers when the Tablet was only 5 cents! His church career had already begun!
There were four Armshaw boys and one girl. Two of the boys, Pat and Mark, entered the seminary. They were very entrepreneurial as they developed a local lawn mowing service, but their attachment to the church prevailed. Msgr. Pat became a “Knight of our Lady”, a group of older elite altar servers who were clothed distinctively with a blue sash. They were privileged to help around the rectory and church. Perhaps it was then that Fr. Pat developed a dislike for Ecclesiastical titles, Robes, and honors. In the stormy years after Vatican II, many younger priests spoke against the title of Monsignor as being unnecessary and outdated. When Bishop McGann, our ordinary in the RVC Diocese at that time, made Fr. Pat a monsignor, Pat tried to turn it down! This I suppose annoyed the bishop who finally said “You are a Monsignor, I made you one and you are one whether you like it or not”. You see, Fr. Pat was serving as chaplain to Nassau County Correctional facility (Jail) at the time and spoke often with county officials in Nassau County so the Bishop felt that he needed this extra title that would show that the bishop himself considered his role there very important.
St. Boniface was a vibrant parish in those days and produced many vocations to the priesthood and religious life. There were newly ordained priests from the Parish nearly every year. Msgr. Boesel, Fr. Tom Sinnott, Msgr. Tom Spadaro, Fr.Pat himself, Bishop Dunne of course and his Brother Mark. Quite impressive! It was in this fertile seed bed, together with his parent’s catholic faith and love of the church, that Fr. Pat’s vocation blossomed. Father Pat had a diverse career. An older East-End small town parish (St. Agnes in Greenport), a newly founded upscale suburban church, (St. Matthew in Dix Hills), an ethnically diverse and challenging parish (Our Lady of Loreto in Hempstead) ,both as an associate and pastor, the chaplain to the county jail and children’s shelter in Uniondale Hempstead, and finally as pastor in our warm hearted Parish of St. Francis of Assisi in Greenlawn.
Here In retirement for the past 10 years Fr. Pat remained a beloved priest and friend to the people.
Ed note: We would love to create a special commemorative issue of our bulletin in memory of our beloved Fr. Pat. If you have any photos and/or short comments that you would like included, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, November 14. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
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Pope Francis has sent loving messages to his people, reminding us that in fasting and denying personal pleasures, we embrace the experience of poverty and stand with the poor durning Lent.