DAD'S LAST NEW YEAR'S EVE
My father, John, was suffering from lung cancer at the Sacred Heart Home for Incurable Cancer in Philadelphia towards the end of 1983. My mother and I made it a point to pray for Dad at the tomb of St. John Neumann on Friday, December 30, 1983. We also acquired a relic of the saint while there.
The next morning of New Year's eve, we were informed that Dad had passed away at 4 AM. We made the necessary arrangements for his funeral and the funeral director chose January 5th as the next available date for his burial. That day was also the feast day of St. John Neumann. The funeral director also informed us that the burial plot was in the St. John Neumann Section of Holy Redeemer Cemetary.
Surely our prayers were answered through the intercession of St. John Neumann and his relic was placed in Dad's coffin. Prayer does work and St. John Neumann is a powerful intecessor.
John J. Petrait, Sr. died at the age of 74 and lived in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, PA. He was a former manager of the Princeton Club of Philadelphia which during the seventies also included the Harvard and Yale Clubs of Philadelphia. He retired in 1978 after 41 years at the club which was located at 1811 Walnut St. (and previously at 12th and Locust Sts.) His retirement was held during a luncheon at the club which included many notable Philadelphians who were graduates of the IVY League schools. The photo below shows him entering his home after his retirement party and carrying the Princeton hat and jacket which were given to him. During the Second World War, he worked at the Cramp Shipyard in Philadelphia and also was a port inspector for the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. His wife, Antonina, died on Christmas Day, 1993, ten years after his passing away. That story can be found elsewhere at this website.
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