Yesterday we held the funeral for my uncle Roly, who was full of energy until the last of his 86 years. A few days earlier, Miss Blanche and I attended the funeral for someone else in our circle. (And, had we been able to bilocate, we might have tried to get to a third funeral, for a friend's father.) So it's been a heavy time. We ask for your prayers for the repose of the souls of the faithful departed, and for all of us who are in mourning.
Roly was an avid sailor throughout his adult life, so the readings and hymns had a nautical theme. "They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep..." (Psalm 107:23-30). "And [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!'" (Mark 4:35-41). At a family gathering last night, my mother recalled that when her brother was about 7, this gospel passage was to have been read by another child, who didn't show up in time, so he was asked to fill in at the last minute. Little Roly read with remarkable poise, only he pronounced the unfamiliar word as "rebucked."
Miss Blanche and I are way behind schedule with our wedding preparations, what with my move to the apartment that will be our shared home, and a bad cold, and this and that. We're trying to rein in our anxiety about the big day. Funerals, sad as they are, have helped remind us of the long view. So did last Wednesday's celebration of the 70th anniversary of the ordination of Monsignor Vincent Foy, a steadfast proponent of the culture of life and the foremost critic of the Canadian bishops' 1968 Winnipeg Statement. Through his experience as a parish priest and as the former head of Toronto's archdiocesan marriage tribunal, Msgr Foy has seen over and over again how contraception contributes to the breakdown of marriages. We wish all couples could hear what we learned about contraception during our marriage prep classes.
Last Wednesday was also the 65th anniversary of the ordination of Fr John Harvey, the founder of Courage--and the feast day of the Ugandan martyrs, who are Courage's patron saints. Msgr Foy is apparently a big fan of Fr Harvey, and we're fans of both.
Such are my scattered thoughts at the moment.