Sr. Mary Andrea recently left our holy enclosure to attend her Grandmother’s funeral. Read this article to learn more about our cloistered life.
So Many Graces, So Many Blessings
After 81+ years of serving our Lord, raising 17 children, and working the family farm, my grandmother (Mom’s Mom) was called Home by God. Being that the Monastery here is only about a 1-hour’s drive from Grandma and Grandpa’s parish and through Mother Catherine Marie’s gracious permission, I was allowed to join what seemed like nearly 350 or 400 people for the visitation and funeral. Considering that all of Grandma and Grandpa’s 17 children, most of Grandma and Grandpa’s 93 grandchildren, many of their 40+ great-grandchildren, and numerous other relatives and friends came, including many spouses of the above, the family decided to have the visitation in the parish church in order to accommodate us all. The funeral visitation, Mass, and burial were truly a beautiful experience, indeed a celebration of life, allowing the family’s strong Catholic faith to shine through.
Since my uncle (Mom’s brother) is a priest for their diocese, there were at least 12 priests, 2 deacons, and the Bishop there for the Mass, plus other priests were there for the visitation the day before. My priest-uncle did not give the homily, but at the end of Mass he reminded us that at the end of a Wedding Mass the priest introduces the newly married couple as they begin their new life, at which point the congregation will applaud the new couple. He then proceeded to invite all present at Grandma’s funeral to applaud her as she begins her new life. Of course this brought tears to many eyes. Yet, even amidst the tears, so often during the visitation time, I kept hearing different ones of my relatives speak about how happy they are that Grandma is now with God, or about how they cannot imagine what Grandma’s life is like now, referring to the fact that when we die, “life is changed, not ended”. Strange as it might seem, I think I left Grandma’s funeral even happier than when I arrived there because the family’s faith in eternal life truly lifted my spirits. I thank God that He has blessed me with such deep roots in the Catholic Church!