You’ll find links to Fr. Rich’s bulletin reflections for the month of November here:

Article #1 Week of 11/1/2015

People bringing food to be dropped off for those in need is very commonplace here at St Augustine’s.  We have strongly supported Bread and Roses, Neighbors In Need, and Lazarus House Ministries. People also serve meals at Cor Unum just a few mile away.  Our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion bring Communion to those in hospitals, nursing homes and to their own homes to give strength and hope to those who are sick, many who may be unable to get around themselves. There will be a turkey drive to enable families without certain resources to have a Thanksgiving meal together.  There are also clothing drives to assist those in need.  The list goes on and on. I know firsthand that many people are grateful for the generosity of our parishioners. (Read complete article…)

Article #2 Week of 11/8/2015

In my life I have grown to dislike the phrase “he’s/she’s taken a turn for the worst.”  Every time I hear it I think back to a day when the superior at the Novitiate came to me and used those words.  By the time I arrived home my father had died. I can still remember the feelings I had and that was many years ago.  I use this episode in my life as an example that grief over someone dying never really leaves. It may change and we can find some peace with it as time goes on but it never leaves us. Looking at a picture, remembering a birthday, visiting a grave, celebrating the anniversary of death can trigger our grief.  Dealing with this grief is what bereavement is all about.  It is a part of death but it is surely a part of life.  For Catholics there are three things that are important to remember in this process. (Read complete article…)

Article #3 Week of 11/15/2015

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” (The Apostles’ Creed)
Our belief in the resurrection of the body was probably the main reason the early Christians treated the body with such reverence.  This reverence continues to be found today in our funeral. I was recently reading a description about Catholic funeral practices and noticed how the various choices were presented, stating that a priest can conduct a funeral in the context of a mass or outside of a mass; a liturgy outside of mass can be done either in the church or in the funeral home.  I know that there are many choices to be made and that there are many circumstances leading people to make their decisions and many pastoral reasons for making them. It is important to realize that celebrating a funeral mass with the body of the deceased present has been and still remains as the preferred standard. (Read complete article...)

Article #4 Week of 11/22/2015

Recently a former parishioner who lives in Ohio came to visit and during the visit wanted to pay her respects at the grave of two former parishioners who had died in the past two years.  Because of the distance, she was not able to attend the funerals of these very good friends.  As we stood at the grave and reminisced, I was struck by how much these people meant to her and as we prayed together, I realized how important this brief time was for her in the grieving process for her friends. I found it to be healing.  This, to me, is a significant reason why we bury or entomb the body or remains of someone who has died. Another reason is that the Church also asks that the body or remains of the deceased be buried. (Read complete article…)

Article #5 Week of 11/29/2015

When planning the funeral liturgy it is recommended to involve the family of the deceased in the planning of the funeral in the planning of the celebration, choosing the readings and songs to be used, and encouraging family members or friends to do the readings.  Over the years a practice has developed of having someone from the family offer some Words of Remembrance concerning the life and faith of the deceased. (I purposely do not use the word Eulogy) (Read complete article…)