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by Lionel E. Deimel

Stained glass lilies    

Easter seemed a perfect day for your well-beingís resurrection,

Yet, that day of promise all too soon assumed a dark complexion.


As on that first Paschal day, the news went out, though this time of despair;

And friends throughout the land took time to turn to God in prayer.


They feared you would, yet prayed, this time, you would not go away;

And so, without a shadow of a doubt, weíre absolutely, positively delighted to have you here with us today!


The Rev. Michael P.G.G. Randolph spent a couple of years as Interim Rector at my church, while we sought a permanent priest. Suffice it to say that Michael, who grew up in Brooklyn, was not an obvious choice for a prosperous, suburban church in southwestern Pennsylvania. Michael quickly found a place in the hearts of parishioners, however, and it was with great sadness that we finally bid him adieu. When his name is mentioned, I suspect that most people remember his announcements during services, when, in his strong, dramatic voice, he always assured us that, without a shadow of a doubt, he was absolutely, positively delighted to be with us. Michael had been a smoker, and most parishioners did not realize how much damage his habit had done to his lungs. Easter 2002 was to be his last day at the interim position he accepted in St. Louis after he left St. Paulís. The night before, however, he received a call that a pair of lungs were available for transplant into his chest, and that he should report to the hospital immediately. On Easter Sunday, one lung was transplanted, but cardiac problems required that the transplant operation be terminated and the medical team concentrate on saving Michaelís life. In subsequent days, Michael was being kept alive by machinery and remained unconscious. Many prayers were said for him by parishioners of St. Paulís, Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, and, no doubt, by many others across the country. As I write this, Michael is still in intensive care, but he is awake and mentally alert. This is something of a miracle, though Michael is not yet out of danger. This verse was written 4/25/2002 for a get-well card.

UPDATE: Remarkably, Michael Randolph recovered. Despite occasional medical setbacks, he continued his career as an Episcopal priest. Michael died 7/30/2012. A story about him can be found here.

ó LED, 8/5/2013

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