For anyone who knows someone at Mundelein seminary, they know that this week is one that will stay in the memory of our community for a long time to come. This thursday, September 15th, at around 1:30 am, there was a car accident involving four seminarians – Matty Molnar, Jared Cheek, Robert Spalding and Mark Rowlands.
Matty Molnar died that morning, Jared Cheek died yesterday (the following day). Rob & Mark suffered minor injuries.
I can’t describe to you the sorrow and pain that is going through our seminary, the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, and especially through Matty’s & Jared’s friends and families. This has truly been a hellish week.
But rather than tell you how sad we are, and how rough things are going, let me tell you a bit about Matty and Jared. If you’re reading this, you probably already know about them, so perhaps this is more for me than for you. So be it.
Matty was a super-energetic 26-year-old, with a penchant for doing things on the spur of the moment, but a real eye for the person who was sitting in the back away from everybody else. Every person at the seminary has met Matty, because he went out of his way to talk to them, learn their names and invite them to everything.
Matty was damn talented. Good on the piano, creative with songs (“Supermom” – need I say more?) and always willing to put himself up in front of everybody to get some laughs. Last year at the Christmas party, he hosted the whole thing and had us in stitches the whole time. While studying to be a doctor of the soul his favorite prescription was laughter.
I didn’t know Jared as well. Really, I know him from the interactions we had in a hallway, at meals or the few times I hung out with him and the guys who knew him better (who happen to be my own diocesan brothers). But the one thing that always struck me was how quick he was to say hi, joke around or hang out. As a somewhat quieter guy, I really appreciate the simple things that he would do to let me, and others, know that he cared. A pat on the shoulder, a joke at the table, an invite to a game or hang out. I know that I was only one of many guys who wanted to get to know him better – both to be his friend and to be like him.
These two guys were perhaps the biggest guys on campus – they are two of a kind, but both living out the call in different style. Pray for the repose of their souls.
Please also pray for our community and for their families. And in the following weeks, please especially pray for Robert & Mark. Charges are being pressed against both of them and they are in for a nightmare of court proceedings and rehashing of that night. Its bad enough to be the driver in an accident that kills two of your best friends, but then to have to go through this too……
Pray for us. If you know a priest, ask him to offer a Mass (or four) for the intentions of these men.
Our Lady of Sorrows….pray for us.