Bishop-Elect David O'Connell was just named Coadjutor Bishop to Trenton, NJ. He was my canon law professor at Mary Immaculate Seminary (Northampton, PA) and preached at my first Mass at my diaconate parish (St. Gregory the Great, Lebanon, PA A real gentleman, scholar and very orthodox and devout ,priest. Many of us had hoped he would become the next Bishop of Harrisburg
During his tenure at CUA a huge increase occurred in vocations to the priesthood and religious life from among the student body proliferated; Eucharistic Holy Hours on campus became commonplace. The crowning jem was the visit of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, to Catholic University during Dave's tenure. O'Connell put CATHOLIC back into the equation of CUA.
My Dad served in the US Navy for both World War II and the Korean War. He died of Leukemia in 1998 just six months after my younger brother Joe was killed by an underage drunk driver. Although my father never talked about his military experience, he was nevertheless proud to have served his country in time of war. He and his two brothers went to war like the rest of the nation to fight the German Nazis, Imperial Japan and Mussolini's Blackshirts. As our nation observed Memorial Day yesterday, I often think of the millions of Americans who never or just rarely pay their respect to the brave fallen heroes who died defending our land from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Many Catholics neglect to visit the cemetery to honor the dead and to pray for the souls of the faithful departed. It is becoming more rare for living relatives to have Masses offered for the deceased since many priests and deacons canonize the dead at their funeral. If no on is in Purgatory, why do they need a Mass (some ponder)? Even those who do have the departed souls remembered at Mass sometimes neglect their natural law obligation to HONOR the dead by visiting their graves. Doing so on birthdays and anniversaries is a tradition which is disappearing, sad to say. I know of relatives of mine who could not find their own parents' grave if you asked them. Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy. Visiting the grave is part of that along with PRAYING for the deceased AND having Masses offered for them. It is NOT a question of EITHER ... OR but as Pope B16 often reminds us, it is BOTH ... AND.