Recent Blog Entries

Small Changes
Biblical roots of the Mass
Summer Months
Celebrate the Foundations of Our Country
Journey through Ordinary Time
Foundations to Build Upon
Gift and Beauty of Life
The Living Body of Christ in a Parish
Welcome Scott Morgan and Stephen Codekas


Our Next Journey...

Jul 30

Written by:
7/30/2017 12:07 AM  RssIcon

As I write this, I have just come back to the parish office after my fifth funeral in the last two weeks, and there was an additional one celebrated by a visiting priest as well. Four of the funerals were parishioners, two were brother priests (Fr. Bob Buening and Fr. Chris Coleman). To say it has been a difficult two weeks is a bit of an understatement!

Yet we are a people of hope and we view the end of life through the prism of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ; and as we pray in the preface at a funeral Mass, ‘for your faithful, Lord, life is changed, not ended.’ We know that this is not the end of the journey, but just the next step on our own pilgrimage of faith. And we do not make this journey alone, when we gather for a funeral Mass or ceremony, the entire Christian Community gathers with us to join us in prayer and solidarity. And we find comfort and solace in their presence and in those prayers that are shared.

But even with the comfort of our rituals and the prayers of the Christian community, funerals are still difficult. And when six come in the span of two weeks, it can even be difficult for the priest and the parish staff. Admittedly, there for a few days, we were all walking on eggshells around here!

As I was preparing for this last one, I was also thinking about my own journey over the last two weeks, as well. Perhaps the most difficult part of the process for me was that I was grieving the loss of two brother priests when I also had to minister to those who had lost a loved one. And it was a challenge to put my own thoughts and feelings aside so that the needs of these families could come first. From what I was able to pick up, no one in the families were aware of all the other stuff that was going on, so I consider that a win, for sure!

A second lesson for me was the importance of being ready. We cannot know the hour nor the day when the Lord will call us back to His side, so we must live as if it could be at any time. After walking with six families in such a short time to plan for readings and music and other items, I sat down and laid out my own funeral plans: readings were selected, a few of the hymns I would prefer; and as a priest, one of the main items to select is a homilist for your own funeral liturgy. I know this sounds like a weird task, but I know it will take the burden off my family when I ultimately go, and may that day be a long way off!

Finally, one last thought: I am so inspired by the bereavement ministry that happens in these two parishes. No matter who the family is, no matter if that person was someone we all admired like Fr. Bob, or whether it is someone we have not seen in a while; each family and each situation will be treated with the same dignity and respect. And that is how we truly do show the love of Christ to our brothers and sisters who are in need of it most at that particular time.

Pray for the dead, and they will pray for you.

God Bless,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 

Enter Title

Deacon Ron answers your questions.


Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

Blog Tag Cloud

"Go in Peace" 40 days acceptance accomplish acknowledge act of kindness ACTS Adoration advent Advent season adventure All Saints All Souls almsgiving american dream angels anniversary anticipation anxiety anxious appointment ark artifacts Ashes assignment assistance attention attitude baby background bake bake-off baking banquet baptism baptisms baptize Barnabas barrage bartender bathrobe beautiful beauty behavior believe best man Bethlehem big birth bishop bitterness blessed Blessed Mother Blessed Sacrament blessing blessings blind Blood Blood of Christ Body Body of Christ bond booth boss bound brave bread breads breakfast burial burning bush business But first butler cake campaign campus Canadian candidates candle Canon Law care career careers caring carry cartoon catastrophic catch catch up catholic catholic schools catholics celebrate celebrating celebration cello chair challenge challenges challenging change changes chaplain check chemistry children Chili Sunday chocolate cake choices Christ-like Christmas Christmas Season church Church history circle civil rights classroom clothes pin collection college color come together comfort comforting command commandment commitment Communion Community community of faith commuters companion companionship compass compassion compassionate concentrate concern confess confession confident Confirmation connect connection console Constitution Corporal Works of Mercy Corpus Christi cotton fields council counselors countries country couples covenant creation cremation Crock-Pot cross Crucified crucify crucify him Dad darkness deacons death Declaration of independence decorating dedicated dedicated souls dedication deeds degree depression desire determination devoted devotion difference dignity dilbert dinner disciples discipleship Dismissal distress diversity divine Divine Mercy Divine Mercy Sunday Divinity divorce doctor donate downtime dreams Dust duty earth Easter Easter Vigil economic education elect Emanuella embrace emphasize encounter encouragement end of life energy engage Epiphany equals equations escape estate Eucharist evangelization events examination excitement excitment experience experiences expression eye fable facebook faces facility faith faithful families family family albums family life fast fasting Father favor favorites fear feast feast day feast days fellowship festival fifth grade financial institutions fire First Communion first-responders fiscal year fishers fishing flight attendant flood focus follow me followers forest forgive formation foundation of faith foundations fragile fragments freedom Freedom of Religion friends friendship frog frustrating frustration fulfillment funeral funerals garment gatherings generosity gentle Germany gift gift of time gifts giving global age glory goal God God's creation God's kingdom gold good example Good Friday good news Good Samaritan Good Shepherd goodness Gospel of Mark Grace graces gracious Graham Dashwood grandfather grateful gratitude grieving grow growth guidance guidelines gut feeling hard work healer healing heart Heaven heavenly kingdom Hell help hidden passages highlight history hobbies hodgkins lymphoma holiday holiness Holy Family Holy Father Holy Spirit Holy Trinity Holy Week home homeless honeybee honor honor roll of donors hope hopelessness hopes Hosanna hospice hospital hospitality hot coal Hugo human humble humility hurt husband ice ignore illness immigrants Immigration infants innkeeper innocent inspiration inspires interactions interests internet intricate investing isolate job search Jordan journey journeys joy joyous joys judge Judgement justice kind king kings island kitchen kneelers knowledge labor day labyrinth Lance Armstrong languages layers Lazarus leadership legacy Lent life lifestyles light Light is On lily pad Lit Liturgy living love loved loved ones loved ones prayer Loving Parent magi magnificat make straight Mardi Gras marriage marrige Mary Mass Mass Ending math quiz Matthew meaning meaningful medical student medicine medieval meetings Memorial Day memorials memories merciful mercy merida MetroCard military minister ministries ministry ministry program miracle mission trip missionaries missionary Mister Rogers Neighorhood modeled moments money monk mood Mortality Most Holy Body mother Mother Teresa motherhood mothers mother-to-be Mount of Ascension mountaineers mustard seed mysteries mystery nains narrow door needs neophytes NET nets new born king New Year nourishes November nurse nursing nurture Obiama obligation obligations October Old Testament olympic team opportunity ordained Ordinary Time outreach outsiding overstuffed bags owl pain painting Pakistan pall palm branches Palm Sunday parable parish parish family parish life parish priest parishes passion pastor pastoral pastoral care pastoral region patience peace penance Penitential Pennance Pentecost photographs Pi pilgrimage pilgrims Pittsurgh planning poet poor Pope Francis pornography poverty power powerful pray pray together prayer prayer of thanks prayers preach prepare presence President preteens priesthood prison privilege process proclaim professionalism professor Professor Liviu;Virginia Tech property prophet Protestant Reformation psychiatrists psychologist purpose purse question quiet quiver rabbi reality Reconciliation Red chair Red Sea re-evangelizing reflect reflection reflections refresh refugee region reinvest rejoice relationship reports re-propose resolutions resources Respect Life responsibilities responsibility ressurrection rest Restoration Resurrection retain right rise up and walk risen Risen Christ risen Lord role model sabatical sabbath sabbatical Sackcloth sacraments sacred sales salt salvation Santa sarajevo Savior schedule schools scientists scotland scripture sea seeds self-image selflessness seminar seminarian seminarians seminary separation Sermon on the Mount servant serve service serving Seventeen share share gifts shepherd shopper short parables Sign of the Cross signs silence simplicity sinner Sister Joan sky small snow snowfall social media society Son song Soul special special services special time Spirit Spirit of God Spiritual Works of Mercy spouse Spring St. John Neumann St. Nicholas stabbed staff stewardship stone stones story stranger strangers strength structure struggling student students success suffer summer support surgeon surrender swimmer symbol sympathetic synagogue Taize Prayer talen talents teach teaches teaching teamwork teenagers teens temples thank you thankful thanks Thanksgiving the Body of Christ The Sacred Meal theologian time toll plaza tomb tours train-wreck Transform transformed transforming transition travel light treasure treatment truly cares trust turtles unconditional martial love understand understanding unique united United States Unity vibrant vigil vision vocation vocations volunteers walk warm warmth Watch List water weather weeping Welcome welcoming wife will willing wisdom witness wonders work world worship worship space worst neighbor worthy wrong year b Year of Mercy YNIA Yom Kippur young adults young American Yo-Yo Ma