Mass of Remembrance

On May 29 the General Chapter held a Mass of Remembrance to honor those SCJs who have died since the last General Chapter in 2009. The Mass began in the meeting hall to allow for translation assistance and ended in the main chapel of the “Collegio Internationale.”

“It has become part of our General Chapters to remember those who have gone before us, who, through death, were joined with Christ,” said Fr. John van den Hengel, the main celebrant and homilist. “We remember the dead of the last six years, we join with them and ask the Lord of mercy and of love to embrace them and be their joy…

“These members have all been part of our life line, our story. Their lives built up part of our identity. They were and are part of our story. We tell our current story by retelling theirs, what they did, their dying in the midst of life, their sacrifices, their foibles and faults.”

Speaking of the slide show that would follow, Fr. John said that “You will probably, as I will, have these moments of recognition: ‘ah, yes, it is so good to be reminded of you again,’ ‘thank you for what you did,’ ‘sorry that I did not always recognize you for the gift you gave to the community,’ ‘thank you for the joy you brought,’  ‘you were a great grace to the church and to the community.’

“Allow our minds and our hearts to tell the story again, to feel it in our hearts, to shed a tear at the sadness of their loss … but always with the awareness and the faith of the power of their life in Christ.”