Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Saints are not statues.
They are real people in whom
Jesus lives again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dyda's Last Moments

This is a note that my son, Fr. Deacon Daniel, wrote to several of his friends regarding the last moments of my Dad.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Last night my grandfather fell asleep in the Lord. I was there at his bedside when he died, and I can say without equivocation that it was truly a beautiful death.

The evening was spent with almost all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered at my parent's home. While there, we had a pizza party, with adults and children coming in constantly to sit with and speak with "Dyda", as we called him, to thank him for his fatherly love for us all these years and to tell him that we loved him and to offer prayers, as well as to periodically give him ice chips and swabs because the oxygen he was on was drying out his mouth (he was unable to receive any fluids because of his congestive heart failure and it would have accelerated his death as well as made it very painful for him).

At one point, while on my own with him, I brought a ciborium with the Holy Gifts in it, held the Ciborium in my right hand and placed my left hand on his head.
I asked the Lord, through whatever He chose to do by virtue of my apostolic ordination, to bless him and give him peace, and to take him home when the time was right. He had already received the Anointing of the Sick a few weeks ago along with the Apostolic Blessing from Father Mark, so I knew that he was prepared. I set aside the Ciborium on a table next to his bed and my son, Daniel, came in. He said hello to Dyda, at which point I said to my grandfather, "It's ok, Dyda.
It's ok." Dan thought I was saying this because I had startled him, but I told him that I said this to tell Dyda that it was ok to go home. Dan told him that he loved him and left the room, at which point I went to sit and continue to pray the Jesus Prayer on the other side of his bed where he was facing.

I went to grab his hand, and my mother, who is a nurse, came in and said "Gordie, I think he is gone."
(His was taking a breath about once every 15 seconds
before.) She checked his pulse, and I noticed his chest was no longer moving, even though the oxygen was still running.

I held his head and told him, "Dyda, it's ok. Go and be with Jesus. Go and be with Bama (his wife) and Denny (his son). We love you so much, Dyda." At that point the rest of the family came in and we grieved the loss of such a noble man, like noble Joseph, but rejoiced over his 93 years of life and his peaceful translation into eternal life. I then prayed the Melkite prayers of the Memorial Service, entrusting him to Abraham's bosom.

Across from his bed I saw the signed poster that we made for him just a few weeks ago when he returned home from 90 days of Physical Therapy that read "Welcome Home, Dyda!" Two weeks ago he looked at that sign and kept repeating it over and over again in his room, "Welcome home, Dyda!"

Now we were all there, along with all the saints and angels, to welcome our great patriarch into eternal life. It was a truly graced moment for all of us.

Welcome home, Dyda!


Fr. Deacon Daniel

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Big Guy Goes Home

The following is the obituary of my Dad, Gordon Dozier, Sr. It will appear in the Norfolk paper.

Gordon Hubbard Dozier, Sr. died peacefully, surrounded by his family on October 24, 2008 at his son’s home in Southern Pines, NC. Known as “Dyda” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Gordon was born in Norfolk, Virginia to the late Mary Hubbard Dozier Caleo and the late Dennis Dozier on March 22, 1915. Due to the premature death of his father in 1919, Gordon and his older brother, Bernard, moved to the Masonic Home near Richmond, Virginia. Dyda would frequently relate to his grandchildren stories of the wonderful life and cherished friendships he had while growing-up there.

In 1937, he married the love of his life, the late Dorothy Orebaugh Dozier. Together, they had two children, Gordon H. Dozier, Jr. and the late E. Dennis Dozier. Dorothy (or “Bama”) and Gordon were married for 42 wonderful years. A few years after her death, Gordon was reunited with his high school sweetheart, the late Alice Woody, whom he dated for 12 years.

In 1935 after a brief period of service in the Civilian Conservation Corps, Gordon went to work for the Virginia Electric and Power Company in Norfolk, from which he retired as Supervisor of the Gas Meter Department in 1980 after over 45 years of service. From retirement until he moved to North Carolina in 2004, he was an active member of the VEPCO retiree club, The Gas House Gang, and a frequent attendee of the Wednesday Morning Bible Breakfast at Calvary Temple.

An avid sportsman, in his younger years, Gordon played semi-professional football, baseball and amateur basketball. His intensity and physical prowess in athletics earned him the well-deserved nickname of “Rough House.” In his later years, he learned to love golf and played three days a week. He even shot his age when he was 83! There wasn’t much he could not do!

He is survived by his devoted son, Gordon Hubbard Dozier, Jr., his beloved daughters-in-law Eva Dozier of Southern Pines, NC and Trisha Dozier of Norfolk, VA, 10 grandchildren: Gordon Dozier, III of Pinehurst, NC, Kristi Bernstein of Dallas, Texas, Jonathan Dozier of Aberdeen, NC, Angel Gulley of Pinehurst, NC, Nathaniel Dozier of Greensboro, NC, Benjamin Dozier, John-Paul Dozier and Mary Dozier of Southern Pines, NC, E. Dennis Dozier, Jr. of Crewe, VA, Gregory Dozier of Norfolk, Va. and 15 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 26th at 5pm at Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines. An 11:00am funeral service officiated by Rev. Lamar Sentel is planned for Friday, October 31 at Calvary Temple in Norfolk, Virginia. Interment to follow at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens. A reception will follow the interment at Calvary Temple. Memorial gifts may be sent to First Health Hospice Foundation at 150 Applecross Road Pinehurst, NC 28374.

When recently asked if he would change any part of his long and full life, Dyda said, “I had a wonderful life and if I could, I would do it all again. I have no regrets.”

Friday, October 24, 2008


My God is THE rock.
I love you,O Lord, my strength
You are my refuge.

Though assailed by foes,
the Lord freed me and saved me...
Because He loves me.

Psalm 18

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Forever the Big Guy

When Dyda came home from the nursing home, he immediately went under the care of Hospice. I cannot say enough about these people. Such caring..such attentiveness..such compassion.

It appears that despite our best efforts, Dyda, The Big Guy, will be taking his final journey home. They estimate two to three days. However, they don't know the Big Guy. Even though he no longer takes food or hydration, he still has the will to go on.

Gordon, (Fr. Deacon Daniel) brought the Blessed Sacrament by last week and I have kept it ( I hesitate to call the Blessed Sacrament " it "... It is HIM!!) so I kept HIM close by my Dad as he continues to labor for each breath.

I was at Mass the other day and glanced at the statue of Our Lady of the Eucharist which is close to the altar at St. Anthony's Church. Mary is holding the Infant Jesus who has a chalice and host. She looks lovingly at HIM. And so I asked Mary to give me the strength she had at Calvary, as she watched her Son labor for His last breath. I know she will.

So many thoughts run through my mind. They are happy thoughts of family..of vacations..of playing sports, in which he whipped my A$% in everything, even when he was in his mid- sixties.

As I sit here and write this, I hear the sound of the oxygen machine and my Dad's labored after another. Such a man of strength, a man whom I love dearly and who will forever be,... "The Big Guy."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Prayer depends not on
What we say or feel, but is
A matter of love.

St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, October 10, 2008


For we are like God.
Speaking words of spousal love,
We bring forth new life.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Voluntas Dei
Sit in omnibus atque
in temporibus.

*Let the will of God be done at all times and in all things.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Total Money Makeover

His name is Dave Ramsey. I discovered him two months ago while I was surfing my XM talk radio channels. His message is simple: Live debt free, and then you can truly live. That means no credit credit car payments... ultimately no mortgage payments. Sounds preposterous and un-American, but I am a new believer.

I was so impressed, I went to his web site and bought 7 sets of his books and CD's for my 8 children. ( One of my daughters is already married to a Dave Ramsey.) Had I known of this guy 30 years ago, my life now would be a great deal different. Although I don't have a large amount of debt, what I do have, is going to go. I am following his plan of Total Money Makover. Two accounts got paid off yesterday and the plastic cut into small pieces. I went to WalMart and got a small accordion file into which I put cash for the week: A portion each for gas, food and spending. In other words I am doing what my very thrifty, Great Depression suvivor Mother did for more than 60 years. My,how things come around.

If you try his plan, you'll be "living like no one else, so that you can live like no one else." (Another one of his phrases.) I'm driving my kids crazy. I am like a former smoker, a reformed alcoholic, like someone "born again." Go to his web site. Listen to him on your radio. See for yourself.

On his show, people call in with their testimonies of how they have become debt free. The stories are varied but all very exciting. Then Dave asks the caller to get the family on the phone, to count down and yell as one: "WE'RE DEBT FREEEE!!!"
In the background, Dave plays the famous scream of Mel Gibson in Brave Heart: FREEEEEDOM!! Applause sounds and the music celebrates the joy of the formerly debt enslaved family. And so, I am on the program. I am committed. I am anticipating the day when I can yell the same and hear Mel's cry of victory: FREEEEDOM!!!!