Funeral Mass

What Ireland’s Abortion Referendum is Really About

This year Ireland will hold a referendum on the issue of abortion. The date has not yet been set but the vote will probably take place in May. Since 1983, enshrined in Article 8 of the Irish Constitution, there has been a constitutional ban on abortions taking place in the Irish Republic. This prohibition was [...]

The Beauty of Fr. Scalia’s Funeral Homily

Fr. Paul Scalia’s homily at the funeral of his father, Justice Antonin Scalia, was “remarkable in its moving profundity,” as one of my colleagues wrote. But why was the homily so good? Can we analyze it and understand why it was so perfectly appropriate and profound? Such reflections can be helpful to both pastors and [...]

An Easter Reflection on the Plague of Cremation

As Christians prepare to celebrate the Paschal Feast of the Lord’s Resurrection, we will hear a lot about the “empty tomb.” Indeed, this year—in which the Lectionary focuses on St. Mark—will be particularly stark: the women encounter the empty tomb and the “young man” and are “utterly amazed” (Mk 16: 1-7). As we celebrate the [...]

When Those We Love Die

In thinking about the destiny of those who die, the course of their final trajectory beyond the grave, it is always unwise to make predictions about the precise place awaiting them on the other side.  How can anyone, in the absence of a sudden sunburst from above, possibly know?  Unless one were fully omniscient—which is [...]

The Importance of Stan Musial’s Funeral Mass

Stan Musial passed away on January 19, 2013 at 92 years of age.  His wife of nearly 72 years died the previous year.  Thousands of friends filed through the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis during the six-hour public visitation.  The funeral Mass for the man who played 22 years in a Cardinal uniform was presided [...]

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