Still out here

Wow one update every two weeks isn’t going to cut it. I am sorry it has been very busy. We have had a lot of activities going on and there was a small post Christmas liturgy break I took in order to recover. Of course I still feel tired but heh that means I won’t go to hell for laziness.

In the last week we have had a concert by Angel Dean (a friend of mine who did a great job) and two talks by Fr. Jim Mason. He is our vocations director and I posted an article of his on the website about seminary vocation. He did a talk on vocations of course and the second one was concerning end of life issues. I am encouraging people to think about doing a bit of preplanning for a number of reasons.

First, I think we all need to be ready spiritually and we have to keep it in our minds that we know not the day nor the hour. I have been thinking a lot about death personally and I want to teach people more about it.

Second, having dealth with an number of funerals in my short time as a priest I think it is a difficult time for family memebers to worry about really big decisions and many time small ones. Often times in the mix of emotions they can make decisions they might not make otherwise (Like spending a hideous amount of money on a casket). It seems easier to make those decisions in advance, spare your family the difficulty and ensure it reflects your wishes. The last point is important because I have seen a number of problems develop over it. One is siblings fighting over what mom and dad would have wanted. I am sure mom and dad would not have wanted the fight. A little preplanning can go a long way to stem this off.

So with these thoughts I have been working on my own funeral. I have my casket picked out. You can find it at TrappistCaskets
. I am going for a simple oak casket in the traditional shape rather thant he rectangular one. I am getting all the legal documents ready. I am going to prepare a letter or a video for my family. Finally I am going to prepare my liturgy in advance.

I am going to be working with my parishioners to encouarage them to think about these things as well. Here are some of the things I want to encourage them to have.

1. A durable power of attorney (this is much better than a living will because you can’t handle ever situation with a living will. It is better to have someone you trust to make the decisions. I will put up a sample form later of this for download.)

2. A will (Again the state can do all sorts of weird things with your estate if you don’t leave a will. It saves the family a lot of pain and suffering if this document is carefully prepared and in place)

3. A Codice to the will expressing your desires for your funeral.

4. A funeral liturgy plan ( this should be worked out in conjunction with your priest and kept on file at the parish. If your priest changes then you should review it with your new pastor. It is important that you don’t leave this step out because you don’t want to plan stuff the priest can’t do or that isn’t in accordance with the liturgy. If someone presented me with one of these that I hadn’t seen I would try to honor it as much as possible but if I couldn’t then I would have to delcline parts of it. It also is a beautiful way to speak to your family one last time through your selection of the funeral readings.)

So that is what I am working on and hopefully I will be back to regular posting once my notebook returns from the shop. I have been without it for 4 weeks and am starting to get a bit frustrated.

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2 Responses to “Still out here”

  1. WICatholic Says:

    Fr,

    As a nurse and a Catholic, I have to remind people to be very cautious about just signing any form of Living Will that is out there, and especially those presented from the hospitals, etc, as most are not in alignment with Catholic teaching. Food and water, regardless of how it is given is not life support, no matter what the local or state or federal laws may state. An excellent source to read to learn about durable power of attorney, etc is Rita L Marker and Wesley J Smith at International Task Force. They have PMDD that are available as well as help for each state. (Protective Medical Decisions Directive) which is a durable power of attorney for health care.
    http://www.internationaltaskforce.org/adneeds.htm

    There are many good things at their website that are vital for people to read and know.

    Another good read is the National Right to Life’s Will to Live project information.

    http://www.nrlc.org/euthanasia/willtolive/

    Not just any form is appropriate for anyone who is pro-life, or Catholic/Christian especially. They are not all appropriate for anyone, to be honest. Some have been overruled by some MD’s, hospitals, or courts in spite of having been signed and notarized, too, and not always in good ways.

    Also, to keep these with a WILL is not a good idea!!! Those wills are not read in most cases until AFTER the funeral! They must be duplicated, with the person named as DPA-HC having a copy, your MD having one, (you can carry one) and anyone else that may be around at the time of need also knowing where to access them in emergency. Any funeral plans must also be made known ahead of time, not kept with the Will alone. And giving one copy to your pastor is an excellent idea, but the copies should also be given to those left behind to carry out the wishes when they are needed.

    I urge caution to anyone making out a Living Will until they have READ the sites that I have given you, as well as JPII’s words about tube feedings, etc prior to Terri Schiavo’s death, as well as those of Bishops Vasa and Burke and others that can be found online easily by a google search.

    God bless!

  2. WICatholic Says:

    Oh, your hyperlink to the Trappist Caskets may need another ‘p’ in it… it did not work.

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