Today, I have some sad news to share. It’s with great sorrow to announce that Father Richard Gleason has passed away. Not only did he feed my soul, but he was our minister and our witness to Holy Matrimony. Two years ago, when I was just newly engaged, I told Tom that it was very important for me to get married in a Church. It was a problem for a minute because Tom was raised Lutheran and I was raised Roman Catholic, but we were both open to a non-denominational Christian Church. I thought about the Church I attended as a little girl, but I decided against it. Since the services were all in Polish, and I’m Polish illiterate, half the time I didn’t understand what’s going on myself. I stopped going many years before as my Polish got more and more rusty. So as I began my “Church” shopping… I honesty felt that a lot of beautiful churches in Los Angeles were more about the money than making sure that we brought God into our marriage. And when I almost gave up, I found Father Richard Gleason. He made things make sense. He had a way of explaining the Bible and he related it to our modern times. He was very much a part of our pre-marriage counseling (over a year) and he was always there to guide us through the tough times (and there were MANY) … and help me find the real importance of life. A couple times when I was going over the ceremony itinerary, he asked if I’d like to include something Buddhist in the service (my dad is Buddhist). He was so open and he just wanted our families to feel comfortable! I remember on our wedding day, Tom and I were terribly nervous! Our rehearsal the night before was cut short by three escaped criminals seeking refuge at the Church. So on the big day, we had no idea what to do! Father Richard was very kind and patient. In a soft whisper so that no one else but Tom and I could hear, he gave use comforting words and guidance. I believe he even cracked some jokes to help us relax. It was amazing and special. For Tom and I, he will forever hold a special place in our hearts, and he will be missed dearly. May he rest in peace.