Monday, May 18, 2009

Death and New Life

This week we're surrounded by the new life of spring and also birth to new life after death. One of our sisters, Sr. Mary Ann, was anointed this weekend and we will certainly celebrate her passing to the new life in God during this Easter season, perhaps this coming week.

We have four sets of blood sisters in the community right now and Saturday we were honored to have the funeral liturgy for the brother of one of these pairs--Sisters Karen and Christine's brother Ron. Every time we host a funeral liturgy for a family, oblate or close friend of the community it is a special occasion--very moving and very holy.

And, third, I must mention the passing this past Wednesday of (Rev. Msgr.)Conrad Kraus, another good friend of the community, cousin of our Sr. Mary Margaret and sister of one of our longtime retreatants. Before entering the seminary, Conrad spent his early career as an architect and then most of his priestly years in the area of liturgy, where his creativity and unique ideas flourished. For awhile he has wanted to go out to St. John Abbey/University, the large Benedictine abbey near Minneapolis famous for its contributions to liturgy in the US, to spend a semester in their Ecumenical and Cultural Research Center. This January his dream came true and he spent this last semester there and, unknown to him in his planning, was to die there, too. His viewing is at the Mount this Tuesday with the funeral liturgy in town at Sacred Heart church.

We enter into the celebrations of all of these special people and celebrate their life--here on earth and in the life to come.

A unique celebration of life in these two dogwood trees, pink and white, whose trunks have joined into one and that bloom together now.