Notre Dame Cathedral this morning was the site of the funeral of Mrs. Anne Kennedy, mother of Father Darryl Kennedy of St. Margaret Mary, Cumberland and St. Edith Stein, Rockland. A good delegation of priests surrounded their brother priest as Msgr. Robert Latour presided and gave the homily (Fr. Kennedy blessed the coffin with holy water and incense at the rite of commendation).
The Mass evoked memories of my mother's death and the comfort given me and my family by the presence of family, fellow Jesuits, friends and associates at that time. I am sure the Kennedy family were touched by the many people who came to give thanks for their mother's life and to comfort them in their bereavement. R.I.P.
My guest for dinner tonight was Father Joseph Hattie, O.M.I., still serving in the Archdiocese of Halifax as he did when I was there in the Office of Family Life and Marriage Preparation (I could also count on Fr. Joe's zeal to handle a given parish at a time of transition between pastors or when illness or other cause meant the priest needed to be absent for some time).
With the help of the John Paul II Media Institute in Halifax, Father Hattie has developed the first of what he hopes will be a seven-part set of DVD's that can be used to foster dialogue in marriage preparation programs [all he lacks to get things going is the capital to manage this--what a blessing the program would be!]
For it communicates well, with the help of married couples, who witness to the teachings on the marvellous and rich theology of marriage that the Church possesses but our people scarcely know.
In a well-grounded and kind way, the instructor and assisting couples help people delve into the divine plan for human love, marriage and family life, building on the solid foundation of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body.
The series does not skirt the difficult topics that couples need to address, but presents them kindly and firmly (looking at the perils of cohabitation before marriage; the way in which contraception and in vitro fertilization thwart the divine plan; and the rewards spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically of Natural Family Planning).
It's the kind of teaching program that calls for support from all quarters in the Church!