Pastor’s Message 09/04/2016

October 4th, 2016 by Donna in Pastor Message Archive 2016

From the Desk of Father Dennis,

Cremation: A Call to Preserve Dignity and Respect Part 2

For Catholics, cremation is considered an acceptable form of handling the human body after death, although as noted in the Order of Christian Funerals, cremation ‘does not enjoy the same value as burial of the body…the Church clearly prefers that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in its rites.’

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

Father Pacholczyk expertly lays out the Church’s teaching about cremation, and gives caveats for the ways we handle the cremains of our loved ones. In reality, there is no difference between the cremated remains of a loved one and a body after death. Both deserve reverence and respect, and as such merit a Catholic Mass or service and a dignified burial.

Our society has gone too far in the direction of exercising options with the cremains. As I mentioned last week, it is a common practice to hold the remains indefinitely and sometimes they get stored away in a closet or attic. Worse yet, they are divided among family members and scattered or worn as jewelry. Clearly, this violates the dignity of our loved ones, and these practices go against the teachings of the Church. These practices “[are]…problematic…that can easily end up downplaying or denying [his or] her human dignity, tempting us to treat [the] mortal remains as just another item to be moved around among our various trinkets.”

Many of us are old enough to remember when the Church forbade cremation, perhaps foreseeing the problematic practices that have now arisen. Allowing it now has in many cases opened the door to disrespecting the dignity of our loved ones.

I urge you to pick up a copy of Father Pacholczyk’s article (available in the back of the Church). Read it and pray about what you might do in response to it.

I am willing to talk to any member of our parish about the options for the burial or entombment of your loved ones. Consulting a licensed professional is a good idea, since he or she can advise you within your budget or deal with other concerns. Thank you for your consideration, and for your doing your part to respecting our loved ones after death.

Yours in Christ,

                                                                   Reverend Dennis J. Vincenzo

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I am delighted to report that Mr. Pat Dwyer is the general chairman of the 2016 Apple Harvest Festival. Pat and his wife Patty bring a lot of experience to the table, having chaired this event before. We are still in need of volunteers, and that means you! Thanks for all you do!

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