A beautiful birthday cake celebrating Fr. Jeremy Harrington’s 90th birthday. Photos by Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM
As Jeremy Harrington sat at his desk a few days after his 90th birthday on Oct. 7, he admitted feeling rather overwhelmed by the number of gifts, greetings and cards that had poured in to mark the special day. “I have a lot to sort through, to acknowledge and express my gratitude for,” he said.
Detroit area friars and parishioners at Church of the Transfiguration in Southfield, where Jeremy serves as associate pastor, gathered in the parish hall on Oct. 8 to mark the occasion with cakes, cookies and a variety of hors d’oeuvres. Organized by Jeff Scheeler, pastor, the women of the parish, and with festive decorations handled by Eric Seguin, “It was a very joyful celebration,” Jeremy said. “It was very humbling to have so many people there. Everyone was so gracious and thankful.”
As part of the celebration, Jeff gave an overview of Jeremy’s ministries and service over the years. Jeremy was also presented with a papal blessing and a blessing from Minister General Massimo Fusarelli. Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit and Provincial Minister Mark Soehner also provided letters, and Jeremy received a scrapbook with greetings from parishioners and friars.
“It was a great celebration,” Jeff said. “There was a lot of love and appreciation for Jeremy in the room. All it all, it was quite wonderful!”
Jeremy had presided at the Saturday afternoon liturgy prior to the party, a Mass of Thanksgiving, he noted, “not for what I have done for Christ and the Church, but for what Jesus has done for me for the past 90 years.”
“When I look back on my life, I have such gratitude for my Franciscan vocation and I can see God’s hand leading me from one thing to another,” Jeremy added. “When I became a Franciscan and a priest, I was just doing what God asked me to do. I have been so blessed. I have met so many people, including the people of this parish, who have been inspirations to me.”