08/28/16 Pastor’s Message

September 6th, 2016 by Donna in Pastor Message Archive 2016

From the Desk of Father Dennis,

Cremation: A Call to Preserve Dignity and Respect Part 1

     It can be helpful to encourage the family, and all who are involved with the cremains, to think about ashes in a manner similar to how we’d think about a full body. Would we keep a casket or a corpse at home for a few weeks? If not, then we shouldn’t do the same with someone’s ashes.

“Cremains and Respect for the Human Body,” Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Catholic Transcript August 2016


When I was newly ordained, and stationed at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, I exited the Confessional one Saturday morning and saw a woman standing there, apparently waiting for me. I mistakenly thought she wanted to go to Confession, so I started to return to the Confessional. Instead, she said “Father, would you bless my mother?” I looked around the empty Cathedral and saw no one else, so I must have looked confused. She walked toward me and I noticed she was holding a shopping bag, like the type you carry groceries home from the store. She opened the bag and proffered it to me. Inside was the cardboard box containing the ashes of her mother! The top was askew, and I remember thinking that a strong wind would scatter her mother’s ashes all over the sidewalk! I did not know what to say, so I said a brief prayer, and she left quickly. The older (and wiser?) Father Dennis would have asked more questions and spoken to her about the propriety of carrying her mother’s ashes around like a sack of groceries.

I suppose this encounter over twenty-five years ago is no different than today’s society when people wear their loved one’s ashes as jewelry (in a locket or a pendant), or leave the cremains on a mantel or in a closet for years. Some have taken it upon themselves to scatter the ashes over a favorite fishing hole or in the water off of Cape Cod. These practices are not condoned by the Church, who requires burial or entombment in a timely manner after death. I encourage you to take a copy of Father Pachlzyk’s article (available in the back of the Church), or read it in your copy of the Catholic Transcript (August 2016, p. 18). Next week I will deal with some specifics from the article, and encourage everyone to make better choices when dealing with deceased loved one’s remains.


Reverend Dennis J. Vincenzo


We are pleased to welcome Father Henry Cody, a Senior Priest who just retired from many years as Pastor of St. Timothy in West Hartford. Father Cody has settled in Naugatuck and will be helping out here in our parish. We extend a warm welcome to Father, and thank him for sharing his priestly ministry with us. As more members of our parish family attend a Mass where he is the principle celebrant and preacher, all will come to appreciate

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