As I work my way home from a trip to the Archdiocese of Detroit this week, I want to step back a minute and share a story about a program within the Diocese of Oakland that continues to flourish. You know you’ve come full circle when your work shows up in your own parish…
This past weekend I attended mass at the Church of the Transfiguration, and saw a priest who looked very familiar walking up to celebrate mass with my pastor. It just so happened that Father Padraig Greene who joined a Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services (CFCS) last year was at my church to celebrate Mass, give the homily and conduct an outreach presentation in the parish hall.
Having been to numerous CFCS Outreach events and spent a number of years working with our staff to develop this exact program (I’ve even given this same parish presentation myself), I was amazed to see the program transformed to connect the sharing of the Eucharist with the faith journey we must all take in planning for our own eventual funeral and memorial service. Watching it as a parishioner was amazing and gave me pause to think that we had come farther than I ever dreamed possible in our outreach ministry.
What I think is important to share is that the Holy Spirit is alive in the work that Father Greene and CFCS staff were performing that day. Seeing couples visiting the presentation, asking questions, and sharing stories was truly something that I could only dream of when this program began years ago.