Senior Living & Resources
Vince Foudy shows the Oct. 11 Mass celebrated at St. Charles Borromeo Church to the residents of Heritage Estates in Livermore three hours after its conclusion.
CLARE KALANTAR/SPECIAL TO THE CATHOLIC VOICE
Delivering the Good News on Sunday afternoons
You could say Vince Foudy goes to Mass twice on Sunday.
The first time, he's a familiar figure in the pews among his neighbors and friends at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Livermore.
Then he heads home, checks in at YouTube and puts a flash drive in his computer. He downloads a video of the Mass, which has been Livestreamed at the parish for the past two years, and is usually available for viewing half an hour after the conclusion of the 9:30 a.m. Mass.
With flash drive and laptop, he makes the trip to Heritage Estates, a sprawling senior living community in Livermore, and brings Mass to those who might not otherwise get there.
The residents know where to find him. "They've got me on the calendar," he said. "It's on the building and in the elevators."
Foudy settles into a second-floor activities room. Sometimes he arrives early enough to join in the rosary, which is led by volunteers from neighboring St. Michael Parish, who also bring Communion to those who cannot attend Mass.
At 1:30 p.m., Foudy is at the controls. He brings the Mass to the people, who sit around a table, and participate.
For those who didn't receive communion earlier, he serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
After Mass, they leave.
They do share the joke from the parish bulletin, Foudy points out.
"Three or four ladies just love it," he said. "They can't get to church."
Another regular is a non-Catholic. "She loves the homilies," Foudy said.
The St. Charles choir also wins praise from the viewers. "They love the choir," he said.
When the parish re-energized its small group discussions this fall, Foudy took this on as well. He created a Friday morning small group from not only his regulars at the Sunday afternoon Mass viewings, but from other residents who are able to get to church on Sunday, but might not have transportation to attend a small group on another day.
Foudy is happy to bring the small group experience to them. They watch a video made by the pastor, Rev. Mark Wiesner, and then have a discussion that might go on for 15 minutes. Then everybody who is Catholic receives Communion.
Communion is important to Foudy; he wants homebound people to call the parish to arrange for Communion to be brought to them. (He adds that he will most likely not be the minister who will be bringing the sacrament.)
Foudy's devotion to his parish and sharing what he gets there is rooted in the message he was hearing as he sat in the pew. i
"Father Mark tells us to go out and get more people to come to the Lord," Foudy said. "I use my skills and let it flow."
So he does, week after week.
He knows firsthand how difficult it can be for people to get to Mass. He tells of bringing his wife, who required long-term care, to church on their 48th and 49th wedding anniversaries.
After his wife's death last year, after 49 years of marriage, Foudy joined one of the parish's small groups. This one was composed of men whose wives were in care facilities or had died.
He had heard about people who ministered at Heritage Estates, and it came to him that perhaps he could bring the Mass to the people.
"Be open to what the Lord offers you," he said.
In his other volunteer hours, Foudy puts his woodworking skills to use making things for the parish. He made 30 new chairs for the choir, followed by a half dozen or so for youth ministry.
He heard one day that the faith formation teachers needed crosses. From quarter-inch plywood, Foudy fashions a cross for each child receiving her or his First Communion.
Foudy is 75. "I have Parkinson's," he said. "I move OK, but I'm slow," he said.
He may move slowly, but he's not stopping. "They tell us to go out and serve," Foudy said.
And so he does.
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