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The Blessed Sacrament Food Pantry is supported through donations from our parishioners and delivered once a month to Newark. If you would like to contribute, please bring any food items to the Church or to the Parish Office during the week. The next delivery date is Sunday, May 7.
St Luke’s Hospitality Ministry
The Hospitality Ministry is inviting you to join us as a Greeter. All are welcome - young, not so young, married, single and entire families. Please consider. Any Mass that works for you is okay. Contact Dan @ 201.445.5863 or email@example.com.
Parish Phone: 201-444-0272
Parish Web-Site: www.churchofstluke.org
Youth Ministry Web-Site: www.stlukesyouthgroup.org
Religious Education office: 201-447-2779 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Me: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John
Below is the Vatican’s new document on Christian burial and cremation.
(Vatican Radio) The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a new instruction on the burial of the dead and on the conservation of the ashes in cases of cremation. The instruction reiterates the long held view that the Church is not opposed to the practice of cremation, though it continues to recommend that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places. However the new document insists that ashes should not be kept in private houses and that the scattering of ashes on land or at sea is not permitted. Please see below the new instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Full article appears on: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/1267621.
Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation.
During the intervening years, the practice of cremation has notably increased in many countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to the Church’s faith have also become widespread. Having consulted the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and numerous Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has deemed opportune the publication of a new Instruction, with the intention of underlining the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation.
Through his death and resurrection, Christ freed us from sin and gave us access to a new life, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rm 6:4). Furthermore, the risen Christ is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep […] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:20-22).
It is true that Christ will raise us up on the last day; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. In Baptism, actually, we are immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him: “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12). United with Christ by Baptism, we already truly participate in the life of the risen Christ (cf. Eph 2:6).
Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven”. By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. In our own day also, the Church is called to proclaim her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live”.
The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory.
By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity. She cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body.
Furthermore, burial in a cemetery or another sacred place adequately corresponds to the piety and respect owed to the bodies of the faithful departed who through Baptism have become temples of the Holy Spirit and in which “as instruments and vessels the Spirit has carried out so many good works”.
Tobias, the just, was praised for the merits he acquired in the sight of God for having buried the dead, and the Church considers the burial of dead one of the corporal works of mercy.
Finally, the burial of the faithful departed in cemeteries or other sacred places encourages family members and the whole Christian community to pray for and remember the dead, while at the same time fostering the veneration of martyrs and saints.
Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in churches or their environs, Christian tradition has upheld the relationship between the living and the dead and has opposed any tendency to minimize, or relegate to the purely private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians.
The Church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, “unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine”.
In the absence of motives contrary to Christian doctrine, the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation, providing the relevant liturgical and pastoral directives, and taking particular care to avoid every form of scandal or the appearance of religious indifferentism.
From the earliest times, Christians have desired that the faithful departed become the objects of the Christian community’s prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The faithful departed remain part of the Church who believes “in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church”.
The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.
The Sisters of Saint John the Baptist, based in the Bronx and working in both New York and New Jersey, invite all to celebrate with them the canonization by Pope Francis, on October 16th, of Alfonso M Fusco, founder of their Congregation.
As a young priest in Angri, Italy, Fr Fusco was inspired by God in the late 1800s to alleviate the plight of poor and abandoned boys and girls. With the help of four young women, a small house was opened to feed, clothe and shelter the many children. His great trust in Divine Providence made possible the growth of the ministry as well as that of the young Community of Sisters dedicated to this task.
Today they are present in 18 countries around the world, and still ministering in various ways to the poor and abandoned, especially through education and care for the elderly. Fr Fusco has promised to pray for and to be present to the Community always. Many graces and blessings have been received through his intercession. You are invited to pray to him as well, who said that he “wished that even his shadow might do good.” St Alfonso Maria Fusco, pray for us.
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