Fr. Steven Voss health update: Details on recent hospitalization

Fr. Steven Voss - Pastor - Saint Joseph Catholic Church - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
Fr. Steven Voss

Dear Friends,

On Monday June 27th, I was hospitalized with an acute case of pancreatitis. During my five-day hospitalization I came to learn that the tumor in my torso has grown and is beginning to push against my pancreas. It is also resting on the opening to my small intestine. This caused my sudden illness. As a result, I’m eating a modified diet. Many  common foods that  I once enjoyed  are now provocative  to my pancreas  and  digestive system.

Two months ago, on the advice of my oncology team, I elected to switch to a different  drug that had  the potential to be more aggressive in decreasing the size of my tumor. Clearly this did not happen and, in fact, the mass grew while I was taking this drug. After consulting with my oncologist I will, in the short term, be transitioning back to a drug therapy that I used most recently and which demonstrated a strong ability to hold and, at times, even shrink the cancer. There are various  tests and trials that have the potential of finding another type of treatment. While the odds of success in this area are slim, they are still worth  pursuing.

In the long term, I have been advised to consider immune therapy. That means using drugs that will enhance my immune system to fight the cancer. Being a kidney transplant recipient, this would involve stopping anti-rejection drugs which suppress my immune system to keep my transplanted kidney alive and healthy. Stopping these drugs would allow my  immune system to come back on line, but would  surely cause my body to reject my kidney. I’m sure you can understand how difficult this decision would be.

The good news is that I am confident that your prayers and support keep me feeling far better than is humanly possible. I continue to be grateful for them. I will keep you informed of any further news or information that I am able to share.  In the midst of this difficult time I give thanks for the presence  of  Fr. Joe Hartmann,  Fr. Greg Ames, our deacons and our amazing staff, all of whom have been heroically present to me and have kept the parish running without incident.

I regret that I have to share this news with you. It ‘s certainly not the news we have hoped  for; however, it does serve as a constant reminder to give thanks for each and every day that  God blesses us with good health and vitality. Many of you might be wondering “Is this the beginning of the end for Fr. Steven?” The answer is not clear. But it might help you to know that after many days of thought and reflection I see this only as another part of the journey, a journey I have undertaken hand-in-hand with Jesus Christ. This brings me peace.

In the end I would like to leave you with one of my favorite poems by Saint Teresa of Avila. My mother gave it to me as she was going through her illness and I have found it very meaningful: Let nothing disturb you, Let  nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.

Sincerely,

Father  Steven Voss

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6 Replies to “Fr. Steven Voss health update: Details on recent hospitalization”

  1. Thank you for keeping us posted. Please know that the Salas family continues to pray for you.

  2. Fr. Boss
    You don’t know me but I am praying for you from SEAS parish.
    Your reputation for being the good and courageous priest precedes you.
    I will ask my friend Padre Pio to pray also.
    Monica Cavanagh

  3. Dear Father Steven:

    Vicki and I were very saddened to hear of your recent health issues. We will continue to remember you in our thoughts and prayers. We very fondly remember the special time when you served us as the Assistant Pastor at Spirit of Christ and your wonderful sermons that made our attendance at Mass so special. We also greatly recall your personal ministry to my Dad just prior to his death , which gave him so much comfort at that time.

    Most importantly, we have been very inspired by your tremendous faith in God, which continues to serve as an example to us and our family. We wish for you only good things and pray that God will continue to provide you with the strength to persevere in your present circumstances. May God continue to bless you as you face your most recent illness. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

    Peace to you,

    Ralph and Vicki Turano

  4. This journey is, as with many, difficult and more difficult. It saddens me to hear the chemo isn’t working but we also don’t know God’s plan for you. I pray, each and every day, that the Good Lord, through Mother Mary’s intervention, will provide a pathway for your health so that we may enjoy your presence for many many Years to come. You have been, and are, a guiding light in my own journey. Prayers, Claire

  5. Thank you Fr. Steven for the health update . Please keep us posted and we continue to offer prayers for your continued healing and support.

  6. Thank you for the letter Fr. Steven describing your health crisis. Know we are offering prayers in your behalf and hope that you will continue to heal.

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