Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Updates during surgery and recovery and a new website

Dear Friends, if you'd like updates from my parents as to my progress through surgery and recovery, here's the link to where they'll post daily updates: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/fatherjohnhollowell

For the past six months I have been working with the Alice Paul Group to look at implementing best practices in online social media evangelization.

This work has taken on a new dimension over the past several weeks as I've been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will be undergoing treatment for the next 2-3 months. The Alice Paul Group will be helping provide you updates through e-mail and social media throughout that time.

Please know of my prayers for all of you. Your prayers for the work that I've been doing and hope to continue to do through my priesthood is always appreciated.

God bless you!
Fr. Hollowell

PS: You can also be kept up-to-date on my new website that was just created - https://www.fatherjohnhollowell.com/ The team at Alice Paul Group are working to help centralize and organize all of my homilies and social media content which can now be found on this website. They're still uploading content, so we appreciate your patience!

Monday, March 9, 2020

A beautiful farewell

Thanks to all who had anything to do with this!  I was COMPLETELY surprised by this surprise thrown together by our head missionary Leah Nielson.  We both have a sort of lukewarm stance on praise and worship music, so everytime she's asked me over these past three years, "Father, is there anything I can do?" I always tell her "Leah, I just want you to sing "You're a Good Good Father" to me...so she set this up, which was absolutely hysterical and awesome. 

Father John Hollowell ‘s send off before his surgery!

Posted by Tiger Catholic on Monday, March 9, 2020

Friday, March 6, 2020

Retirement Dinner for my Dad

MASSIVE thank you to Mr. Chuck Weisenbach and Terese Carson and all who worked so hard on a wonderful celebration for my Dad's 41 years of service at Roncalli High School.  Very nice video that they put together:

Here's a link you can donate to a scholarship fund that Roncalli High School has set up in honor of my parents.  It will help with financial assistance to families who desire a Catholic education! 

Donate here if able:  https://e.givesmart.com/events/gjp/


Monday, February 24, 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020

medical update: I have been diagnosed with a brain tumor

As you are aware, a one day trip to the Mayo Clinic this week has turned into a four day trip.  I want to begin by saying I have so much gratitude in my heart for the wonderful medical professionals I've been able to work with through this entire process...such a great blessing in our country, and the Mayo Clinic is certainly a bright spot in our world.  My family doctor, Dr. Keith Landry has been wonderful, as well as my cardiologist, a Roncalli dad, Dr. Michael Barron.  I have a nurse, Lauren Alcorn, that has been such a kind help through all that has come up these past 12 months.  That care has continued here at Mayo.  Each person has played a key role in this process, and I am very thankful and amazed by the state of medicine in the US in 2020.

While the MRI that I had at St. Francis in December was thought to reveal a stroke, a second MRI that I had here at the Mayo Clinic showed that the affected area of my brain had not changed hardly at all over the last two months.  My Mayo Clinic doctors have said that a stroke would have already started to heal significantly in those two months, so they were able to say definitively that what I have is a brain tumor.

That certainly is a serous diagnosis, but I actually feel very blessed by the path that they have laid out for me, and the prognosis is very good.  The path involves the removal of the tumor and then possible radiation and chemotherapy to make sure that any remaining cells are taken care of.  Both the radiation and Chemotherapy that I would potentially do are not the severe forms that certain cancers call for, so I'm very thankful for that.

The path:

1) I can function as normal for the next several weeks

2)  I will travel back to the Mayo Clinic for a brain tumor surgery that will happen Friday, March 13th.  The expected time in the hospital is actually surprisingly short.  Brain surgery actually requires a lot less physical recovery than surgeries like open heart.  There may need to be an extended stay if physical therapy or speech therapy is needed.

3) The surgeon said that typically after only 6 weeks a person is back to normal.

One question that I thought it would also be helpful to address: "is the tumor cancer?"  Because of the fact that the tumor has been fairly stable for two months, they are very optimistic that it isn't any kind of aggressive cancer.  It may be a low grade cancer, but even if it is non-cancerous, it is still best to remove the tumor as it would still eventually grow and start to cause problems.   

One request: When the scandals of 2018 broke out, most of you know that they have affected me deeply, as they have most of the Church.  I prayed in 2018 that if there was some suffering I could undertake on behalf of all the victims, some cross I could carry, I would welcome that.  I feel like this is that cross, and I embrace it willingly.  I would love to have a list of victims of priestly abuse that I could pray for each day.  I would like to dedicate each day of this recovery/chemo/radiation to 5-10 victims, and I would like, if possible, to even write them a note letting them know of my prayers for them.  IF YOU KNOW OF A PERSON OR YOU ARE A VICTIM YOURSELF, with the victims permission, please send me the name and, if possible, a mailing address so that I can send them a note, that would be much appreciated.  my email address is fatherjohnhollowell at gmail.

Also, I would like to pass this word on to SNAP, so if you know someone that is in leadership for SNAP, please let them know I'm interested in speaking with them to see if there's some way I could get the names of people to pray for and, if possible, send a note to in the midst of all of this. 

In closing, I am very much at peace.  Other than time in the hospital, the only effects of this tumor that I have had are 5 episodes of spasm/seizure that have each lasted 90 seconds.  I also realize I am blessed to have uncovered it through this process vs. finding out about the tumor down the road after it had grown more in size.  

You all will be in my prayers, as I pray daily for the salvation of all the souls of those who live and study within my parish boundaries.  

May Our Lady of Lourdes watch over and intercede for all those who are sick or suffering in any way!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Some of my siblings and I reflect on my Mom and Dad's 41 years at Roncalli High School

At the beginning of this academic year, my Dad announced that he would be retiring at the end of the upcoming school year.  

He contemplated retirement several years ago, but decided to lead the school through the final capital campaign of a plan that had been charted 20 plus years ago.  

The final project was the gym, which was just completed.

Several of my siblings (I count my brother in law as a sibling) wrote up our reflections on what we have seen in both my Mom and Dad as they have, as a team, helped lead and guide Roncalli High School for 41 years.

If you know my parents, or if you are a fan of Catholic schools and leadership, I think you will find these short reflections tell the TRUE story of how Roncalli came to be one of the leading Catholic schools in the country, and the largest private school in Indiana, while also becoming a beacon of Catholic identity and Catholic culture.

Here's our version of what has happened at Roncalli these past 41 years: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uM8gAZNHTpKLlqNrdpyF-UN3Juwk_TyggzC3KysQTxY/edit?usp=sharing