Saturday, 21 June
Sunday, 22 June
Monday, 23 June
Tuesday, 24 June
Wednesday, 25 June
Thursday, 26 June
Friday, 27 June
Saturday, 28 June
Vigil of Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul
Sunday, 29 June
14 / 15 JUNE
Saint Joseph Parish
Saint Francis deSales Parish
Tuesday, 24 June
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
at St. Joseph's
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
at St. Joseph's
Yours truly is acutely conscious
of the fact that, for us at StJosPar and StFdSPar, "the
days dwindle down to a precious few". For this reason, I
regret the unfortunate timing of two commitments that I made
eons ago. Long before I had any idea that our parishes would
be closing on 15 July
2008, I committed myself
to preaching and celebrating Mass at the St. Joseph Retreat House
in Malvern (PA) on the weekend of 28 / 29 June.
I also committed myself to a wedding in Cincinnati (OH) on Saturday, 12 July! (The groom is a young man I have known ever since
he was a little boy. I gave him his First Holy Communion in St.
Joseph Church. He often visited me at St. Joseph Rectory.)
Rosemarie Tranquillo Hall
Julia Civitarese Mazzuca *
Anthony A. Pilo
Mark C. Deysher
Stephany M. Hauptly
Marino Perry Orff
Morgan M. Chillemi
Tara M. Centeleghe
Valerie Shrom Shappell
Sally Cola McShaw
Elaine Skumin Barbetta
James P. Cicero
Jonah A. Modesto
Ann Hoepstine Blankenhorn
Margaret Moore Etherington
Matthew S. Freed
Domenic P. Mercuri
Liam L. Moyer
Aaron J. Spece
Thomas D. Guastavino, M.D.
Michael A. Sedicino
|PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE BISHOP'S ANNUAL APPEAL, if you have not already done so. If you have lost your contribution card, put your contribution into an envelope, mark it "Bishop's Annual Appeal" and put it into the collection basket or bring it (or mail it) to the Rectory. It is our DUTY to support this annual appeal!|
WE SHARE THE MAIL
A friend of mine sent me an email with an attachment. Jim Gontis is a former StFdS parishioner and, together with his wife, Eva, and children, a former tenant at StFdS Rectory.
I think Jim's insightful letter and the attached article (excellent article!) are prime "bulletin material" and am devoting a huge amount of space to them in this weekend's bulletin. (Cf. pages 5 to 10).
I hope at least a few persons will have the patience and will take the time to read both.
If even one person is motivated to re-think his intentions to have his mortal remains cremated and to opt for "full-casket interment", I shall be more than satisfied.
Suffice it to say that I am not fond of cremation.
Much more to the point, the Catholic Church is not fond of cremation either, although she does permit it.
I saw the attached article about cremation by Rabbi Marc Gellman of "God Squad" fame, in The Harrisburg Patriot-News.
First of all, let me say that I completely accept the Church's allowance for cremation. The Church speaks directly on this in the Code of Canon Law, which is the official listing of the laws of the Church. The following is the direct quote from the relevant canon (#1176 paragraph 3), in the Code.
The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed, nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.
Note: One obvious example of a reason "contrary to Christian doctrine" would be a person choosing cremation precisely as a statement of denial that there is a resurrection of the body.
That said, I thought that the
article by Rabbi Gellman was outstanding! It resonated with me.
The reason the article resonates with me so deeply is that I have a very "incarnational" (in flesh) sense of life, death, and of the Faith. This is one of the things I most love about our Catholic Faith. We are not deconstructionists and we see the reality that we are not purely spiritual beings like angels, but rather that we are body-soul composites. Not only the soul, but also the body is important and good. It is constitutive of the human person. So much so, that originally we were never meant to be without it. Now, due to the effects of original sin, we will be without it for a time, but only until the Second Coming of our Lord. The fact is, the separation of body and soul is a very unnatural state.
God imprints the "Incarnational Principle" throughout His Creation and throughout the Church. It is imprinted most especially in His own Incarnation: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1, 14) Even in regard to the Scriptures themselves, the Incarnational Principle is at work. The Holy Spirit does not simply drop the books of the Bible from the sky (though He surely could have), but rather, inspires human authors to write what He wants them to write, while making full use of their own talents, personalities, and experiences, to convey His truths.
I love the fact that the Incarnational Principle is in play in Catholic art and architecture. We Catholics are not iconoclasts. This heresy was condemned rather early in the Church's history. Rather, we have always realized that depictions of God and of sacred persons, places, and things help us to come to a greater love and knowledge of Him. It is not that they replace the Creator, but that they help us creatures (albeit creatures in His image and likeness) to raise our minds and hearts to Him. We make full use of physical matter and so does God. Not only that, but the physical matter, as well as the spirit are good.
I think that what Rabbi Gellman puts so well
is the importance of the physical, as well as the spiritual.
This corresponds to our nature. It is how Jesus established the
sacraments, which give us spiritual gifts through physical signs.
It is why our church architecture, church music, and sacred art,
etc. should be beautiful, not simply pragmatic or functional.
It is why we pray and worship with body and soul. This is why
we do things like genuflect, fold our hands, make the Sign of
the Cross, use holy water, bow, etc.
Many heresies have fallen under the general category of "body bad, spirit good" (the genus here is "dualism", the individual species are legion). Dualism is not Christian and certainly not Catholic-Christian.
One of the stories from Scripture that I find very interesting, and very sacramental is the idea of Jesus healing a blind man by spitting into dirt, thereby making mud. Then he rubs it on the man's eyes and he is made to see. Did Jesus have to do it this way? Certainly not. He chose to, I think, because he is intending to show us something of the sacraments, i.e. grace given through physical signs. He is working out a healing (both physical and spiritual) through material means. He knows that is helpful to us. It is helpful to us because it corresponds to our human nature.
For the same reason, I find that burial of the dead and reverence for the body, even after death, is important and good. It corresponds well with a sacramental way of looking at things - of looking at life and of looking at death. I think that this is true even for those bodies that have died that in their older years grew weak, blind, lame, and disfigured. Maybe it is even more important in these cases because it helps to illustrate that these people, including their bodies, did not lose their value when their bodies were no longer able to function as perhaps they once had. Being takes precedence over mere function. Reverence for the body, including the burial of the dead, shows that no matter what, the body, as well as the soul, was and is always a gift.
I think this was one of the great blessings
that Pope John Paul II taught us in his teaching early in his
pontificate on the Theology of the Body, and through his own
example as a "suffering servant" in his latter years.
There are many others who teach us this as well.
by Rabbi Marc
Q: Is it OK for a Christian to be cremated, or must my husband and I be buried? We're both quite ill and we need an answer as soon as possible. We used to go to St. Paul's Methodist Church, but we don't attend anymore because of illness.
R and B, West Palm Beach, FL.
answered several cremation questions over the years but none
from a Methodist before. Protestant churches, and the Methodists
in particular, are the most open to cremation of all the Christian
denominations. So, the answer is, yes, you may be cremated, but
I hope you don't need to avail yourselves of this practice for
many years. I pray for your health.
Here's a list of some other
religions and how they break down on the cremation issue:
RELIGIONS THAT PREFER BUT
DO NOT REQUIRE CREMATION
RELIGIONS THAT PREFER BURIAL
BUT ALLOW CREMATION
RELIGIONS THAT FORBID CREMATION
The theological issues concerning cremation are focused on the belief in the resurrection of the dead at the end of time in the Messianic age. Cremation seems to be an assault on that belief because, obviously, it destroys the bodily remains. For this reason, in-ground burial is the preferred option for religions that focus on a belief in bodily resurrection.
My own person views on this matter
are quite strong. I am vigorously opposed to cremation and especially
so if the intention is to scatter the ashes somewhere. I have
seen and I know the spiritual value of a grave. A grave is a
place where mourners can come before holidays and on special
occasions to pay their respects and focus their memories. It's
a place where older children can be shown the graves of other
family members and told the stories of their lives.
Mostly, I believe in graves because I believe in the spiritual value of touching. When I dedicate the stone for my father this summer, I'll be able to touch the stone that touches the earth that touches my father. It is a linkage of love into the bosom of the earth and into the bosom of my love for him. I know that only his bodily remains are in the earth and that his soul is in the world to come with God, but I'm still here on planet earth, and here where I live, touching is a powerful connector to the ones we love.
I felt this connection strongly when I helped preside at the memorial service for the victims of TWA flight 800 at Smith Point Beach on Long Island in 1996. We could have held that service anywhere, but it was clear that the families needed to be there so they could touch the water that touched the remains of those they loved.
Cremation ends touching and that's the main reason I don't like it or recommend it to those who ask my opinion. I also don't like the way cremation is sometimes sold to vulnerable elderly people by those with a commercial rather than a religious interest in the practice. I've heard stories of pitches that scare the people: "You don't want to be put into the ground and have people pile dirt on you, do you?" "You don't want to buried some place where nobody will visit your grave, do you?" All this sickens me.
I've often counseled grief-stricken mourners torn by the discovery that a parent took out a cremation policy when they want to bury the parent in a grave where they and their children can visit. They don't want to violate their parent's wishes, but they also don't want to give up a place for spiritual touching. I'm usually able to suggest a compromise where they go through with the cremation, then bury the urn in a grave.
Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, yes, but in God's time - in God's time.
P.O. Box 23A
Thornton, PA 19373
|ANGELA M. CAIRNS, a member of StJosPar, has completed her freshman year at Elizabethtown College. She was on the Dean's List for the Spring Semester. Angela is James and Marie (Garbetti) Cairns's favorite daughter.|
|THE MAY PROCESSION held on Sunday, 26 May, was, as always, a beautiful event. We are grateful to all who participated in any way. Special thanks to the Mayor, the Council and the Police of the Beautiful Borough of Palo Alto! We have good reason to be grateful to them for their kindnesses to us over the years. Thanks also to the persons who donated anything at all: food, beverages or money. Thanks also, of course, to the kitchen help!|
|SPREAD THE WORD: The monthly spaghetti supper and the monthly calendar will continue! St. Patrick Parish will pick them up. We anticipate a seamless transition, at least in these two matters. Please continue to support both!|
Acknowledgment of and celebration of one's ethnic origins is sometimes useful, even interesting, for historical reasons and can, at appropriate times, provide an excuse for jolly good fun. However, no mature person ever gets all wrapped up in his or her ethnic identity. After all, it was a Jew who saved us from eternal perdition, whether we are Irish or Italian or whatever, and it is a Jew into Whose Body we were baptized and with Whom we become more and more deeply integrated each time we receive the Holy Eucharist.
SAINT FRANCIS deSALES CHURCH
Vigil of Sunday
6:00 p.m. - DOMENICA ["Mamie"] DeMATTEO LaSELVA
by Jack and Flo McGovern
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
9:15 a.m. - WILLIAM D. BRENNAN
by Bill Moran
12:15 p.m. - WILLIAM E. BRENNAN
by his sister, Anne, and his brother, Vincent
10:00 a.m. - ANTHONY STAGLIANO
by his wife, Frances, and family
10:00 a.m. - CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
by Shirley Losch Recla
10:00 a.m. - HANS MUELLER
by his nephew, Edward
Vigil of Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul
6:00 p.m. - CONSTANCE M. HECKMAN
by Joseph T. Cescon and family
Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul, apostles
9:15 a.m. - MIKE DUNBROWNEY
by his daughter, Nancy
12:15 p.m. - PAUL and CAMILLE TEGANO
by their family