Fr. Richard Tartaglia of St. Mary's Catholic Church
By Loci B. Lenar
(April 05, 2010) - Almost twenty years have passed since I began my initial search for a spiritual director. I expected the process to be straight forward and simple; however, it became rather challenging. The most important element in my mind at the time was to find someone that could understand and relate to my spiritual circumstances.
Since 1991, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has revealed his spiritual presence in my life through signs and wonders. I believe it's extremely important for anyone experiencing the presence of God to have a priest to analyze the spiritual events as well as to discuss the meaning of God's plan and purpose in your life.
Have you ever tried looking for the appropriate medical specialist before making a final decision? Perhaps you found someone and then later decided to switch because you were not satisfied with the outcome? The comparison can be made with the clergy, because they serve the Lord and help provide guidance for dealing with everyday journeys of life here on earth.
Fr. Richard Tartaglia is my spiritual director/confessor for over fifteen years. However, before making that decision, it was a hit and miss process with a few other priest. In hindsight, it was the appropriate choice. Fr. Richard is not only a skillful spiritual counselor, but I also consider him as a friend.
Fr. Richard is one of several priests at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, which is located on Myers Avenue and Route 46 in Denville, New Jetrsey. Saint Mary's Prep is also part of the parish and provides Catholic education from kindergarten through 8th grade.
Frankly, I admit, it's a delight to sit down and engage in dialogue with Fr. Richard about Christianity and our Catholic faith, and then suddenly without warning, we switch topics to baseball!
Fr. Richard's desk and walls have more New York Yankees memorabilia than the Cooperstown Museum! I am in awe of his widespread collection of baseball souvenirs. And candidly, I must say, why not enjoy the game of baseball through collectibles? It's fun entertainment for all ages and families. In my opinion, he's the NY Yankees number one fan in the tri-state area. I am quite certain that he is happy about the 2010 major league baseball season finally getting started, especially with the game played between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, April 4th, in Fenway Park. What an exciting rivalry for the Yankees and Boston fans!
Almost everyone at St. Mary's parish is aware of his love for God and baseball.
His work in helping parishioners at St. Mary's and celebrating Holy Mass is appreciated by many and by no means forgotten. As a gesture of thanks, baseball collectibles are common gifts given by parishioners for his thoughtful support and kindness.
He has numerous baseballs with some signed by Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson. He has a plaque of Derek Jeter breaking Lou Gehrig's team record in 2009 for hits by a Yankee. A photo of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hangs on the wall with a plaque of newcomer pitchers, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
If time would allow, you could spend hours discussing baseball with Fr. Richard, but because of his busy schedule, God's work prevails. When it comes to faith, he's a walking encyclopedia of church doctrine and a model priest for all. God has gifted Fr. Richard with an open mind and heart to address and discern matters of spiritual importance related to the Catholic church.
More than fifteen years ago, one of the most important matters in my life was my request to receive the Anointing of the Sick, a healing Sacrament of the Catholic Church. Because of an on-going heart condition known as Atrial Fibrillation and continued bouts with headaches, it was God's spiritual remedy for treating my medical condition. Through daily prayer and recitation of the rosary, the Blessed Mother guided me to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for God's perfect timing in blessing me with His healing grace.
After requesting church assistance, I was anointed with oil by Fr. Richard with the healing sacrament. The Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament of the Catholic Church that any priest from any parish can administer to anyone in need of God's healing. Graces associated with the Catholic Sacrament include physical, spiritual and emotional healing. I thank our Lord for healing me through this sacrament and directing me to Saint Mary's Parish.
With the blessings and grace of God, I was healed of my heart arrhythmia. The medical condition is treated with Lanoxin, a cardiac medicine. However, I've not used the medication for over fifteen years. I was treated by my family physician, Dr. Gilbert Mandel of Denville Associates of Internal Medicine for the medical disorder. The medical group is located on Pocono Road, Denville, NJ. Additionally, I was healed from years of suffering painful headaches after countless visits to medical specialists with treatments that went to no avail. With the power of prayer and the Anointing of the Sick, God's healing grace cured me. The sacrament is administered through the Catholic church.
In James 5:14-15 the following is noted: "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven."
It is my hope that by reading my testimony, God the Father would bless you with His grace in using the various sacraments of the Catholic church and lead you back to celebrating the Mass.
May Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless you on the pathway to salvation and healing!