It has been a busy and blessed start to the month of November here at St. Julia. From the celebration of All Saints on Monday, All Souls on Tuesday, our Memorial Mass Tuesday evening, virtual Denis Morris Catholic High School Mass on Wednesday, and our Summit Adoration Night Wednesday evening, I have been most blessed to witness how the Holy Spirit is alive in our parish and community.
At our mass with our high school students, I preached about the funeral mass. In my five plus years of priesthood, journeying with families as they say goodbye to their loved one has been some of the most touching and moving times in my ministry. It is at these times when hearts are moved, reminding one of the importance of our faith, our relationship with God and our creator, and that we will see our loved ones again in heaven. Just as important is that we need to continue praying for those who have gone before us, and that those prayers are what continue to keep us connected. This, and more, is what these young ladies and gentlemen needed to hear. In the back of my mind, I thought, where else are they going to hear this?
Yes, the funeral is for the beloved family member or friend who has died. But the funeral mass is for the living as well – all those who mourn the loss of a loved one or friend. It is meant to bring comfort, strength, and peace to all, and to assure the family that they are not alone, and that this parish family is here to pray alongside them. So why should the funeral be held at the church? It is in the church where we welcomed that soul into the family of faith, at baptism, and it is at the church, at the funeral mass, where we entrust that soul to the love and mercy of God. The beautiful mass, and the eucharistic prayers are offered just for that loved one – your loved one. Plus, as I say, we are no closer to our loved ones who have gone before us than at the celebration of the mass – every mass.
As we pray for all the departed souls who have gone before us, I pray that each of you, who mourn the loss of the loved one, whether it be recent or many years ago, be assured of my prayers and the prayers of your family here at St. Julia. May these prayers bring you comfort, strength, and peace.
May God bless each of you and those that you love.
From Our Pastor