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Monday, February 26, 2018

Commended to God

My mother has been commended to God.

Her funeral mass was held this morning at St. Denis Church, in East Douglas. The church as a Jesuit connection because it is named after the church where the original Jesuit Friends in the Lord committed themselves together through simple vows at the church of St. Denis on Montmarte outside of Paris, France.

For me, it was somewhat of a homecoming. It was the only Catholic church in our hometown of Douglas, and its current pastor is my mother's cousin.

At a priest's ordination, his hands are oiled with Sacred Chrism, which is reserved for holy orders. Immediately afterwards, the purificator that is used to wipe the excess oils from his hands is given to his mother to be presented to Peter at her moment of death. Peter, reportedly, gives the mother of a priest entrance through the Pearly Gates without any questions asked. My mother died on the Feast of the Chair of Peter, forming a nice bond with heaven.

The calling hours were a time of consolation. Many people from all ages of our family's life came together to honor our mother. It was quite amazing to see the number of people who showed up for her and for us. It was truly an honor that so many people showed up to give condolences. The cards, notes, emails, Facebook posts, have been very consoling.

As we try to manage our time and make decisions about the funeral and wake, it has been a challenge to reply to any messages. That will come in due time.

The funeral was consoling as well. The rite gave my mother great dignity. Friends who are professional singers gave us a nice gift in their service. The choir formed a nice schola.

Six members of the Jesuit community at Boston College concelebrated the liturgy with me. It was a nice tribute for them to honor our fraternal bonds of affection.

Friends from all over came to the wake or the funeral. Cousins and relatives showed us great care. The parishioners of St. Denis provided nice snacks and hospitality desserts for our enjoyment. At the reception, people stayed for a nice lunch and fellowship.

Mom was well honored, and it was an honor for me to commend her to the Lord for eternal life. Rest in peace, Mom.

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