St. Augustine Catholic
Restoring Hope to Grieving Youth
At the Hour of Our Death
Profile: Father Tom Willis

in this issue... 
editor's notes
saint of the month
bishop's message
from the archives
in the know with Fr. Joe
theology 101
your marriage matters
parenting journey
spiritual fitness
parish profile
around the diocese
work life
last word
calendar of events

editor's notes
remembering our loved ones who are deceased

On Nov. 1 and 2, the Catholic Church celebrates All Saints Day and All Souls Day respectively. The purpose of these feasts is to remember those who have died, whether the church officially recognizes them as saints or not. It is a celebration of the “communion of saints,” which reminds us that the church is not bound by space or time.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that through the communion of saints “a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.” (#1475)

Our cover story, At the Hour of Our Death, provides readers a guide to planning a Catholic funeral. Granted it is a subject that no one wants to talk about, but like taxes - death is inevitable.

Most people are unsure of how to go about planning a funeral that will honor both the deceased and the living, and their faith as Catholics. Planning a funeral for a loved one who has just died can be very stressful and full of anxiety. And it is especially difficult to pay attention to all the tasks at hand when you are vulnerable and grieving.

As Catholics we are blessed to have a funeral liturgy that is full of symbol and ritual that provides comfort for the families and friends of the deceased. The Order of Christian Funerals reminds us that, “At the death of a Christian, whose life of faith was begun in the waters of baptism and strengthened at the Eucharistic table, the Church intercedes on behalf of the deceased because of its confident belief that death is not the end nor does it break the bonds forged in life. The Church also ministers to the sorrowing and consoles them in the funeral rites with the comforting word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist.”

This issue of the magazine also addresses the question of cremation for Catholics. Father Joseph Krupp in his column on page 8 talks about the teachings of the church on cremation and three things to avoid with Christian burial. Cremation and the funeral liturgy are discussed further in our cover story on page 18.

Father Bill Ashbaugh in his column, Spiritual Fitness, provides consolation for those who are grieving. He provides concrete ways for overcoming grief. And on page 16, writer Tom Tracy introduces readers to the Rainbows Ministry that reaches out to children and teens who are suffering the loss of a parent due to divorce or death. There are several parish-based Rainbows support groups for youth, including a ministry at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville.

November 5 is Catholic Cemetery Sunday. The Catholic Cemeteries Office of the Diocese of Saint Augustine, invites all Catholics to profess their faith that death is not the end and that the body will be raised by visiting a Catholic cemetery during the month of November. Visit your family, friends, neighbors and fellow Catholics with whom you were united in life. Pray for them, talk with them and celebrate that Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

- Kathleen Bagg-Morgan, editor