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Newsletter of Mater Dei Seminary
November 2002

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Scapular or Scapular Medal?

Dear friends and benefactors,

One of the sad consequences of original sin is that we all have experienced or will experience the death of a family member, a relative, or a close friend. Sometimes, especially when this happens unexpectedly, we are forcefully reminded of the solemn warning of Our Lord, “Watch, therefore, for you know not the day nor the hour,” (Matt. 25:13) and “You also must be ready, because in an hour when you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming” (Luke 12:40).

On these occasions, the reality of our own frailty and mortality becomes starkly apparent. This helps us overcome that “disease” so common in young people called “Adolescent Invincibility Disorder” by which so man mistakenly think that nothing can happen to them because they are young and in good health.

When death comes to a relative or a friend, we as Catholics must remember that it is our faith that will help us rise above our feelings of sorrow and loss to find hope and consolation in the words and promise of Jesus Christ. “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in Me, even if he die, shall live: and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11 :25).

This hope and consolation is indeed the theme that is reiterated throughout the Requiem Mass on the day of death or burial. The Epistle for this Mass is taken from St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians: “Brethren, I would not have you ignorant concerning those who are asleep, lest you should grieve, even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so with Him, God will bring those also who have fallen asleep to Jesus . . . wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:13-18).

In this same Requiem Mass we find in the Preface the wonderful and consoling reassurance that death is not an end of life, but a new beginning: “For unto Thy faithful, 0 Lord, life is changed, not taken away; and the abode of this earthly sojourn being dissolved, an eternal dwelling is prepared in heaven.” Also, the Preface assures us how solid is the foundation of our hope: “Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, in Whom the hope of the blessed resurrection has shone upon us, that those whom the certainty of dying afflicts, may be consoled by the promise of future immortality.”

This past October a very fine and devout Catholic man died unexpectedly in an automobile accident. A loving husband and father of eight children, he frequented the Sacraments and died wearing the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The tragic accident occurred while he, his wife and one of their daughters were on their way to the newly-acquired church to work in preparation for the very first Mass to be offered the upcoming Sunday. In your kindness and charity, please remember in your prayers the repose of the soul of Patrick Hornung of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, whom God called this past October 9th.

As I write this letter I am reminded of the phone call I received on November 1st, 1991, in which, one month after my consecration, I received word of the death of Bishop Carmona, the Bishop who consecrated me. In the midst of this tragedy, I was deeply impressed with the thought that I must diligently labor every day for the salvation of souls: for each Mass that I offer and every Sacrament which I dispense may be the very last.

Where would we be without our Catholic Faith?!

With our prayers and blessing,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Other articles in this newsletter:
   Scapular or Scapular Medal?

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Printed copies of Adsum, a publication by the seminarians of Mater Dei Seminary for the reading enjoyment of friends and benefactors, are sent free of charge to all who request it. Most issues also contain photos of recent events involving the seminarians. If you would like to put on this mailing list, please use this form.

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