April 18, 2019
A blessed Holy Week to you! This Holy Week has been marked by great sadness for parish families. First we learned of the death of Susan Pogue's brother, David, in England; Susan has flown to be with family. Next that Carmen Rivera's mother, Carmen Hernandes de Rodriguez had died in Puerto Rico; Carmen and Felix have flown there. Later, we learned of the death of Melissa Lamoreaux's father, Pete Majar in Washington State; they'll be heading west. Along the way, we learned that Mark Sullivan's mother, Connie Sullivan, was and remains comatose in New York State; Mark will drive there after Sunday services. This all seems like a lot of loss.
Then there's the fire that destroyed the old forest of oak timbers that formed the supporting structure for the roof and the fleche' atop the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Its beautiful setting on the Isle de Cite', its architectural significance, and iconic role in French history and literature make this loss felt far beyond the realm of French Roman Catholics. Closer to home, we have been confronted again by the long, ugly history of racist arson which recently destroyed African American church buildings in Louisiana. These fires, and others, in treasured places hallowed by generations of prayer, are also a lot of loss.
But then, death, loss and hatefulness, are among the realities that Holy Week places before us each year. There is no way around "the valley of the shadow of death." The Good News is that we are not alone as we make our way through these shadows. God is with us. In the person of Jesus, God knows loss, hatefulness and death.
And so, we are not left standing alone in the ashes, or at the foot of the cross. On the third day, the tomb will be found empty. There is new life on the other side of death. For cathedrals damaged by construction-related fires, (or by earthquakes, as with Washington National Cathedral) and for church buildings destroyed by arson, that new life involves repair and reconstruction. For our dear ones who have died, that new life is the Risen Life at the great Messanic Banquet table of God's heavenly kingdom. For us who remain, the Risen Life is also for us to share here and now. We are also invited to the Kingdom's great Banquet Table, and then encouraged to go and participate in God's Way of Love as a blessing to this hurting and broken world.
That's our journey through these three days of the Triduum. Our schedule of services is in the column to the left. I look forward to sharing these Holy Days with you!
In faith, hope, and love,
p.s. Because Anthony LaFata and his helpers Collin and Ryantidied up the backyard on Tuesday, and because Saturday's forecast looks forbidding, the Church Yard Clean-up has been postponed until June.
p.s. #2: As forecast in my previous letter, Lent Madness ended with Martha of Bethany receiving the "Golden Halo." One of the great things about Lent Madness are all the things, from the trivial to the profound, that one learns in the blogs promoting each day's saints. In the blogs for St. Martha, I learned that she was reputed to have developed her gift for hospitality to spread the Gospel of Jesus in Gaul and had healed the sick and defended the faithful against a dragon! Another great thing about Lent Madness this year were the comments that one could read after voting: one contributer provided a limerick about each day's saints, another wrote new words for a hymn, and a third provided new words for a Broadway show tune every day.. The ones celebrating St. Martha receiving the Golden Halo were quite extraordinary. You can find them all at LentMadness.org .
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!