Today over one hundred guests joined us Jesuits here at the Jesuit Center to celebrate Fr. Edwin Sanders. He began his novitiate as a Jesuit here on August 14, 1946. Ed celebrated a Mass of thanksgiving in our Main Chapel grateful for his seventy years as a Jesuit. Deacon Richard Wentzel, from St.Mary's in Lebanon, preached. His humorous memory of Ed included Ed's remark after his accidental fall in the church aisle as he began the final commendation at the coffin of a St.Mary's parishioner. This parishioner had grown into her senior years in the parish. And Ed remarked that he counted himself the last man to fall for her.
Among those attending were a couple, Pat and Eileen, who served with him on marriage encounter teams in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Also a brother with his sister, the brother being among his first altar servers at the Pittsburgh parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in 1968.
Among my remarks to those gathered to celebrate Ed:
"Ed has never retired and still celebrates Mass at Highlands (a retirement community) and hears confessions at St. Joseph’s Villa (a covent). Here at home he is available for spiritual direction and hears the confessions of retreatants and others.
May we, too, lay, religious and clergy, carry on our ministries with the commitment and love that you, Ed Sanders, show us daily well past those so-called limits set by retirement. God has blessed you and us through you. May God’s assistance continue ad multos annos."