Pastor’s Corner

I. “Tackling Your Apathy, Cynicism, Narcissism, and Personal Neglect,” “The Convenience of Playing Small,” and “Saying ‘NO’ to Gossip, Jealousy and Suspicion.”  These topics, which we encounter in our daily struggles, will be addressed in our Tri-Parish Mission (one mission, three locations) at Blessed Mother Church (Monday), Saint Stephen Cathedral (Tuesday), and Saints Joseph and Paul (Wednesday) by Fr. Ron Knott. A dynamic speaker and a priest for 42 years, Fr. Knott also carries many other titles: teacher, campus minister, author and retreat master. Reserve November 9, 10, and 11, at 6:30PM, for this opportunity to focus on spiritual matters. St. Stephen will host Tuesday evening! Bring a friend!

II. The “Francis Effect:” If you have read “The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium),” followed the “Synod on the Family” process, or listened to any of his homilies, addresses, speeches, you have detected what Pope Francis conveys about how the members of the Church, pope, bishops, clergy and laity, are to work together. The values Pope Francis articulates for effective pastoral ministry are: leaving complacency behind; bold and creative rethinking by each community; searching communally for the best pastoral approaches; applying pastoral guidelines to each community generously, courageously and without fear; never walking alone in our work; needing and relying on each other; discerning what is wise and realistic for our communities; working collegially with church leaders. The humility and simplicity of Pope Francis are a result of his lifetime dedication to the Gospel mandate to reach out to the poor, the oppressed, the alienated and the outcast.

III. A Month of Re-Membering: All Saints’, All Souls’, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Feast of Christ the King are about remembering. Note that in the Jewish Scriptures, there was a golden thread of remembering, in order to keep alive the memory of spiritual ancestors, communal trials and trauma, moments of peace and prosperity. How important it is for us to remember what God has done for us through our family of faith; we, too, recall the ebb and flow of sin and grace, darkness and light in our own lives. Let us not forget, despite it all, how God has blessed us beyond measure. To remember is to celebrate God’s faithfulness with gratitude! Eucharist is our chief way to express thankfulness! November, we welcome you!

IV. Must CREMATED REMAINS be BURIED/ENTOMBED? Yes. Respectful final disposition of cremated remains involves interment or entombment. Burial options include a family grave in a cemetery or an urn garden, a special section in a cemetery with small, pre-dug graves for urns. A common practice is the entombment of the cremated remains in a COLUMBARIUM, which is an arrangement of niches, either in a mausoleum, a room or wall into which an urn or other worthy vessel is placed for permanent memorial. The practice of keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative/friend of the deceased is not considered the reverent disposition that the Church requires (Order of Christian Funerals, Appendix II #417).

In Joy and Hope,
Fr. Jerry