Just before I left for Rome, two parishioners died whom I had visited & prayed with when they were ill. I was saddened by their deaths and by the inability to celebrate their funeral Masses though I am grateful to Fr. Vesely for presiding at the funeral for Carol Glinka and to Fr. Weist for celebrating the funeral Mass of Loretta Weber. I had spent some time with Loretta at her apartment and at Holy Family Hospice. She had worked and then volunteered in our school for many years. She had a dry sense of humor that would always make me smile. Carol Glinka would be at the 4pm Mass on Saturdays and she was always kind and thoughtful toward me & toward Michaela to whom she loved to give treats & toys. Carol moved quickly from Fairview Hospital to Marymount hospital, and then finally home where she was under the care of Hospice for a few days. As with Loretta, I anointed her and knew that she and Loretta were accepting of their circumstances and approached death with faith in the resurrection. Both of them will be missed and we commend them and all the faithful departed to the mercy of God.
God's Mercy is something I thought about frequently during my two-week stay in Rome as of course Pope Francis has asked us to celebrate this great Jubilee Year of Mercy. I celebrated Mass near the altar of St. Leo the Great where he is buried inside St. Peter Basilica and I celebrated Mass at the tomb of St. Peter below the basilica. At these places and at many of the holy sites I visited, I prayed for you all and asked God's blessing on our parish and school. On our last day in Rome, we stood in St. Peter's Square as Pope Francis gave us his blessing as he always does at Noon on Sundays before telling us all to have a good lunch! And good lunches I had...and dinners...and snacks inbetween. You can't get a good taste of Rome unless you get a good taste of Roman meals! While it's always great to get away, it's also great to come back home. So from Rome to home I am blessed and hope to share some of Rome's treasures of faith with you in the coming months.
This Sunday Pope Francis is celebrating the Canonization Mass for Mother Teresa. St. Teresa of Calcutta is known the world round for the way she showed mercy to the poorest of the poor. We are blessed to have heard and seen such holy men & women live lives of faith and love during our own lifetime. May we follow their example & share in their glory.