A good, good man

Not enough people in Greater Pittston got to know Rev. Gary Mensinger. I was one of the handful who did.
Father Gary, who passed away last Friday, was pastor of two Byzantine Catholic churches: St. Michael the Archangel on North Main St. in Pittston and St. Nicholas in Swoyersville. He died on the Feast Day of St. Nicholas of Myra.
You can find his obituary at citizensvoice.com and if you do, you’ll read about his remarkable life. Born in Freeland, he was elected to the Freeland Council and was chaplain to the Freeland Fire Department. Even as pastor of St. Michael’s and St. Nick’s, he continued to serve as a firefighter.
My wife’s late father, Steve Hrab, had been a member of St. Michael’s and my late sister-in-law Joann Gromala and her family were members of that congregation which meant I often attended services and parish events there. The blessing of Easter baskets was one of my favorites.
I had always maintained a warm relationship with Father Gary but I really got to know and appreciate him when we were invited by Bob Price to help plan a Pittston Day of Prayer last spring. Father Gary and I enjoyed trading puns during our meetings and it was great fun. He also led us in prayer in a most meaningful fashion.
I had looked forward to working with him for years to come.
Father Gary was only 50 years old.

Ed Ackerman