Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Are YOU a Disciple?

 Baptism is the basis of our faith. We have all received the light of Christ. Have we heard the Call from God?

In the first reading, Samuel was asleep and heard his name being called. He went to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." Eli told him he did not call and Samuel should go back to sleep. Samuel was not familiar with the Lord because the Lord had not spoken with him yet. Samuel heard the call two more times and he went to Eli. The third time Samuel heard the call and Eli realized that it was the Lord calling Samuel. 

Eli advised Samuel to go back to bed and if he hears the call again to say: "Speak Lord, your servant is listening." Have you ever said those words? I'm sure most of us have heard our name called in the middle of the night; we think someone is calling us and we get up and dash to that person. We find that person sound asleep or watching TV and they tell us that they did not call us. We go back to bed wondering why we heard our name called.

When we are sound asleep- is it the voice of God? Is it our Unconscious sending us a message? Could it be both? Pay attention when it happens- jot down the day/date/time and keep it handy. Is there a pattern? Does anything important or significant happen is the days following the call?

Psalm 40, "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will" is one of my favorite mantras. In a situation that feels like it could get nasty or combative, or visiting someone you DO NOT want to visit, or having one of those really tough, gut wrenching conversations?  Psalm 40 is my go-to.   "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will. Let me bring your Truth and your Peace, Holy Spirit guide me, let my voice sing your praise."  (The second sentence is the rest of the prayer I say with Here I am ...)

The Gospel from John (1: 35-42) presents another form of "call." John the Baptist and two of his disciples are talking and Jesus walks past.  John the Baptist says, "Behold the Lamb of God." The two disciples turned and followed Jesus. Jesus asks what they are seeking and they respond, "Rabbi (Teacher) where are you staying?" Jesus invites them to travel with him. Andrew, one of the men went to find his brother to tell him he had found the Messiah. Simon Peter and Andrew went back to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon Peter and said- "You are Simon, the son of John, you will be called Cephas (translates to Peter)."

Now that is a "Call!" I get shivers when I read or hear that Gospel. Meeting Jesus for the first time and he tells you that he is going to change or alter your name! A gesture SO small but speaks volumes about Jesus, the man. Have you ever wondered- what did Jesus know and when did he know it? Did he know as a young boy what his life would be like?  There is no right or wrong answer but questions like these help me to see Jesus as human (and also Divine).

Reflection Questions:

1. Have you ever considered how remarkable it is to have received blessings from God? Can you name or list those blessings?

2.  If you could ask Jesus ONE question- what would it be?

3. How do YOU help others recognize the living Jesus?

4. What qualities do you have that would cause others to recognize you as a disciple of Jesus?

For Children: What do you think it takes to be a follower of Jesus?

If you want to leave a COMMENT- scroll down and click on COMMENT.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Baptism of the Lord

Did you know that Baptism is the BASIS for the whole Christian life? Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; members of Christ who are incorporated in the Church and made sharers of her (Church's) mission.

The word Baptism comes from a Greek word meaning to "plunge" or "immerse". The "plunge" into the water symbolizes the person being baptized burial into Christ's death; from which they will rise up as a new creation." (CCC1214)

This "bath" is called enlightenment, because those who receive instruction in the faith are enlightened in their understanding. Through Baptism, they have received "the true light that enlightens every person." (CCC1216)

 Today (January 10, 2020) we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, "he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, defending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (Mark 1:10-11) Can you imagine what it must feel like to hear those words? Spend some time in prayer, hearing those words from God.

Isaiah preaches that all who are thirsty should come to the water. They who have no money, come to receive grain and eat.  God urges us to listen as he renews an established covenant with us.

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. My Lord, we need your mercy and forgiveness even though, your ways are NOT our ways.  You ways and your thoughts are above us, Oh Lord, but we trust that you water the seed and make it grow; that you water the earth to make it fertile and fruitful.

The Psalm for this Sunday is a Song of Thanksgiving taken from Isaiah 12. A song that affirms that God is our Savior so there is nothing to fear. We sing our praises to our wondrous God for glorious achievements; shout with joy and exultation that God is the Holy One of Israel.

The second reading from 1 John 5:1-9 tells explains that Children of God are not only known by their love for God and others; but by their belief that Jesus is the Son of God. Faith is our acceptance of Jesus as the Son and obeying the commandments of God, which are not burdensome. The acceptance of Jesus and the obedience to the commandments are what give us power, as Christians, to overcome the evil of the world. 

Reflection question:

1. What theme(s) did you find in the readings this weekend?

2. Did you "feel" anything as you heard or read the readings this weekend? How would you define your emotion after hearing and reading these readings?

3. How do YOU share your faith as a Child of God?

To learn more about Baptism, read paragraphs 1214-1284 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

We love comments and feedback!!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas 2020

 It has been QUITE a year, has it not? There is NO normal and everything is "unprecedented."

I saw a T-shirt with this inscription:  "I miss Precedented Times"  I think many of us would agree with that..

As we look back on our lives since March, I invite you to hear  the words of the Christmas Eve Old Testament reading:

        "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils...For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9: 1-6)

For unto US, my friends, a child is re-born into our hearts and souls. He lived as a "normal" child and grew in maturity and grace. He taught people, he challenged people and he HEALED the sick and burdened. ALL he asked was that WE listen and ACT. All he asked was that we love and serve one another the way he loved and cared for us. Remember-believing in Jesus is not enough; we have to DO for Jesus.

This has been a tough year. But I just re-read The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985). The story is about a boy who gets chosen to take the Polar Express to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. While there he receives the first gift of Christmas, a sweet sounding bell. Unfortunately there was a hole in his pocket and the bell was lost. The boy was very sad and disappointed. The next morning, under the Christmas tree was a gift from SC (Santa Claus) for the boy with a note saying- fix the hole in your pocket; in the box was the lost bell. He rang the bell, his sister and friends all heard the wonderful sounds; but his parent said, "Oh too bad, the bell is broken. Here is the last line of the book:

    "At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe."

The bell still rings for those who believe. Believe inGoodness, believe in Right vs Wrong, believe in Love over Hate, believe that the Earth needs protection, believe in equality for EVERYONE.

Do you hear the bell?

Finally, from an Amy Grant Christmas compilation, the refrain of "I Need a Silent Night"

                            "I need a silent night, a holy night
                               to hear an angel's voice through the chaos and the noise.
                               I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
                                to end this crazy day with a silent night."

Merry Blessed Happy Healthy Christmas, pray your love out into the universe because this world needs it BAD!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Mystery and Acceptance of God's Word

 The readings this week take us into the Mystery of Faith and also remind us to be accepting of the covenant he made with our ancient fathers.

In 2 Samuel (7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16),  we hear the Lord offering a reminder to King David that he, the Lord, had raised him up and saved him from his enemies. The wicked will no longer be of bother and David and his people will live in peace. David is assured that at the right time, he will raise up an heir from his loins. The Lord tells David that his House and his Kingdom shall endure forever before him God and his throne will stand firm forever.

Psalm 89 continues the theme of God's covenant with us. Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord! How can you go wrong with that thought in your head. Some lines from that psalm that are not in the response: "Let the heavens praise your wonder...for who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?...righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne, steadfast love and faithfulness go before you..(v. 5-6, 14).

The second reading from Paul's letter to the Romans (16: 25-27) is something called a doxology which is a short hymn of praise to God; they are mostly added at the end of canticles, psalms or hymns. A very common doxology that we all recognize is: Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and will be forever, amen. In this reading, Paul makes known his commission as an apostle to the Gentiles so that he can the be a be an evangelizer of the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

The Gospel from Luke (1: 26-38) is the story of the Annunciation; the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary to tell her of God's wish/plan for her. Again, she was 12-13 years old and she said, "I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." (1:38)  Do you have that much trust in the Lord? Do you want to trust Jesus that much?

I am reading a GREAT book called, The Soul of Christmas, by Thomas Moore. As a last word he writes: "Christmas is one of the most soulful days of the year. You don't need to be Christian or a follower of Jesus, because the roots of Christmas lie in the natural rhythms of the year, and solstice celebrations are universal...Jesus offers a vision of utopia, a perfected world. He envisioned a time when we would get over our neuroses, our demonic tendencies, and live in peaceful community." (p 139)

Question to reflect on for adults, young adults and teens:

When have you followed the example of Mary and said, "Let it be done to me as you say?

Question for children:

Is there something really hard that you have to do this week? What could make it easier for you?


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Third Sunday of Advent- REJOICE!

 The 3rd Sunday of Advent is know as Gaudete Sunday- REJOICE. Some priests wear a rose color chasuble as the "pink" Advent candle is lit for this weekend. 

The Scripture for this 3rd Advent Sunday calls us to better understanding of our mission to others. Isaiah clearly tells us that the Lord has anointed ME (and YOU) and sent ME (and YOU) to bring glad tidings to the poor and heal the brokenhearted. He also tells us that we are to proclaim liberty to captives and release prisoners.He isn't advocating that we literally go to jails and release prisoners; but there are different kinds of prisons, aren't there? There are so many people imprisoned without love, without support and in desperate straights- show them How God has nurtured love and healing in you.

The Responsorial Psalm is Mary's Canticle. A canticle is a hymn or a chant with biblical text. "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord!"

Paul's letter to the Thessalonians is pretty clear: Rejoice always and pray without ceasing, give thanks, do not quench the Spirit, test everything, retain good, do not go near evil.  Not just sometimes-way of life.

The Gospel continues the story of John the Baptist. He proclaims the coming of Lord and exhorts that we should: "straight the way of the Lord,"

So how do we practice hope? Do you know any folks that are having a hard time and they still express their trust in God through a hopeful spirit? When we begin to talk more to God and start to kinda-sorta trust (it's an early stage), tell God or ask God about a situation in your life. Meditate on the problem asking God to help you find the answer. Something will happen if you trust and if you truly give it to God.

Reflection Questions: Adults, Young Adults, Teens

1. Who are the people- in your work/home/school sphere-most in need of compassion to whom we are to bring God's love?

2. Sit quietly (maybe listening to soft Christmas music) and reflect on the great things, the miracles God has done for you. Do you still rejoice in those blessings from God?

3. How can you be a "voice in the wilderness" of the West Side and proclaim the goodness of Jesus?

4. With whom could you be more patient this week, as God has been patient with you?

For Younger Children:  How can you be more patient with your family and friends?

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Second Sunday of Advent- PREPARE

 If there is a theme for today, I believe it would be: PREPARE!

The scripture for this Second Sunday of Advent leaves nothing to the imagination! The word for the day is PREPARE!   The first reading has Isaiah proclaiming we must-Prepare the way of the Lord! He also tells us, "Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; and in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care." (Is. 40:11)

The Psalm exhorts us to pray. We are to pray to the Lord and ask to see his kindness and be granted his salvation. Salvation? The definition is "preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin or loss. God sent his Son to earth to rescue us from loneliness, sin and death. The last line of the Psalm reads, "Justice shall walk before him, and make (prepare a way for his footsteps." (Ps. 85:14) 

The Second reading from 2 Peter asks us to think about what we are doing with our lives; are we being repentant and conducting ourselves in a respectful, holy manner? Prepare, people, because we do not know the day or the time when the Lord will come.

The Gospel of Mark echoes Isaiah telling us to prepare but Mark goes further and talks about the mission of John the Baptist.  John preached in the wilderness telling people to prepare the way of the Lord and telling them he will baptize them with water but one mightier than he is coming and John is not worthy enough to loosen the thongs of his sandals.

That's a lot to think about. So, how are you and your family preparing? Below I have some reflection questions for adults, young adults and teens. These questions might even be appropriate for some younger members of the family as they are learning how to trust in God and live our lives to prepare to meet our God.

1. In what ways have I treated ALL others as my sister or brother?

2. How do I show daily that my real treasure in in heaven, not on earth?

3. How have I (personally) fought against poverty, hunger and inequality in our world?

4. How have I reacted to those who have asked me for money?

5. How have I given my time, as well as my money, to those in need?

6. How have I forgiven my enemies and then PRAYED for those who had hurt me?

7. How do I bring JOY and LAUGHTER into the world?

8. How do I show everyday that heaven is my ultimate goal in life?

Please leave comments if you like or email me or call me!

The questions were from Deacon Dennis' homily of November 29, 2020

Friday, November 27, 2020

First Sunday of Advent 2020

 The First Sunday of Advent begins with a reading from the prophet Isaiah as the Jews call on God after their return from exile. This is a reading of "lament" that shows pain, doubt, and expectation; the community wants God to make everything right.

The Psalm asks God: "Lord make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved." The cry is to "Rouse your power and come to save us...The we will no more withdraw from you; give us new life, and we will call upon your name."

Paul, in First Corinthians, assures the Corinthians, and US that he gives thanks to God for the grace bestowed on us through Christ Jesus. We were enriched in every way through Jesus so that we are not lacking in any spiritual gifts.

The Gospel of Mark this day gets right to the point in saying:"Be watchful! Be alert! Because none of us knows the day or the time that the Lord will come. Do not let us be caught sleeping! Jesus said to the disciples and he says to us all: "WATCH!"

The theme of Advent is faithfulness. In week 1, we are taking stock and being watchful. This is a time to take stock of your spiritual gifts or yearnings.

Personal REFLECTION QUESTIONS (for adults, young adults, teens):

1. Do you think you know God's plan for you?

2. Do you feel you can take your concerns to God in prayer?

3. What things would you like to learn or discern or pray about as we enter this season of  waiting?

Invite children into the conversation and ask/discuss: What good thing is God asking from you during this Advent season?

For additional some additional reading turn to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)

Incarnation of Jesus CCC 456-469

Jesus as Messiah CCC 436-440

Mary, Mother of Jesus CCC 963-975 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


What are you afraid of?
I know it's a silly question because many adults will not admit to fear.
Do you remember what you were afraid of as a child? I was afraid of "normal stuff"- spiders, snakes, frogs-all the icky things I still cringe about.
Have you been afraid as an adult? Not anxious...really frightened to the bone, sweaty cold FEAR.
Premie in NICU? Sudden onset of illness? Spousal infidelity? Hearing the word "Hospice" much earlier than you thought you might? Coping with a loved one with an addiction? Afraid of assisted living or a nursing home?
I believe that many of us try to stuff our "fear" deep down, so it won't bother us too often. 
I'll be honest with you, my biggest fear is retirement-running out of money before I run out of life. Folks, for that reason, I intend to work as long as my brain and fingers work so I can write bulletin and blog articles.
I have found the BEST thing to do with fear is to talk about it. As a chaplain, I would call families a couple of days after the nurse had gone to admit them. The primary caregiver would answer the phone and I would say- hi my name is Robin and I'm the chaplain with (whatever) Hospice. I could hear that person tense up on the other end of that call. The caregiver would say that the patient is a) not very religious, b) is not a good Catholic, or c) does not believe in God.
I would thank them for that information and say, very gently, "I bet your life has been totally turned over in the last 5 days."  There would be a brief second of quiet then I would hear them sniffle and start to cry. I would reassure her that hospice doesn't mean someone is going to die in a week or 10 days and dying is a process. They would start to talk and within 15 minutes I was invited over for coffee and conversation with the caregiver and the patient.
When I would take to patients I would ask if they were afraid of dying? Many could not answer that so I asked if there were afraid to see Jesus or were they afraid of the process. Very rarely was anyone afraid to see Jesus; but most people don't know there is (for many people) a "dying process."
As we talked, the patient, caregiver and family expressed their fears and their questions. I would answer their questions as best I could and there was some healing of fear. 
Telling our fear to someone else is a way to take the power out of the fear. If I (we) can talk about something out loud and hear ourselves saying the words that frighten us- it's like we are figuring it out while we talk. Also- once we give voice to our fear- the fear does NOT have the same hold on us.
So what happens to us when we are afraid; what do we do? I can speak for myself in saying that I initially get very panicked and get into a tizzy. As time (minutes or hours)  goes on- I remember that I am not alone, Jesus walks with me. So I take a deep breath and start to tell the story to Jesus. Piece by piece and line by line, I feel that fear begin to evaporate.

Being fearful is not a novel experience- we are human. Ever wake up in the middle of the night ruminating and obsessing about something? If so, keep open and pad of paper next to the bed. Write down what you are afraid of or ruminating about and it will no longer control your life.
Prayer also helps, especially praying a Rosary. The feeling of the beads in your hands and the rhythmic nature of the prayer can be (and is) very calming. As you pray, ask the Blessed Mother and Jesus to lead you to wisdom and healing.

Feel yourself being embraced by Jesus and prayed for by Blessed Mary. When we relax, our head clears, the problem may still be there just as large as ever...but we know in any situation that we encounter we MUST do the right thing, choose the right road, follow the Gospel, WWJD.
If you are a believer- you really need to act, react and think like a believer.
Trusting in God isn't a whim or a guest- if you believe in a god who loves you and walks with you-you must act...period...end.

Do you REALLY Believe?
What are YOU afraid of???

Feel free to leave a question or comment below- Thanks- Robin

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Faith & Prayer Change Us...if we let it..

Many of us still say our prayers. Many people have told me that their 
"prayer-style" is very unconventional. Some pray in the early morning hours (zero dark 30), some pray in bed before falling asleep, some have a special chair, book, blanket and cup for their prayer time. There is no such thing as "unconventional" prayer style; your prayer style is how God has called you to communication. Have you ever thought about your own prayer style?

I've had people tell me the only prayers they know are the rote prayers we learned as children. I find it maddening that we, as Catholics, don't know how to pray extemporaneously. When I became a chaplain, people would ask me to pray with them. I had my "Book of Catholic Prayers for Any Situation" but I learned very quickly that people don't want prayers READ to them- they want them PRAYED from the heart.
Praying for someone from the heart is very personal; it is a way for them to KNOW you HEARD what they were saying. Rote/reading a prayer is very impersonal.
Praying from the heart is asking for the Lord for what YOU (or whomever) NEEDS at this particular MOMENT. 

Prayer is a conversation with God. "Dear Lord, I try my best but I know I sometimes fall short. Thank you for being present to me. My Lord and my God, I asked for your peace. Amen."  
Prayer is made up of Adoration (Dear Lord), Confession (I try my best but), Thanksgiving (Thank you for being present)and Supplication ( I ask for your peace)

Prayer is a dialog in which you can hear the voice of God. God's response to you will not sound like a foghorn or a fire alarm; God's response will be a quiet whisper in your heart and you will know it immediately.

I know the first time I heard/felt a response from God. I had suffered a traumatic loss and I was inconsolable. I was very depressed, sad, and angry: it was late at night and I was reading my Bible in bed.  I came to the story of the hemorrhaging woman in Luke (8:43-48). A woman had been bleeding for twelve years, she had spent all of her money but no doctor was able to heal her so she lived in the shadows like others who were unworthy or unclean. She knew that Jesus was coming to her town, she had heard the stories about his healings and miracles. She made up her mind that she needed to see and touch Jesus. She crawled in the dirt, around the feet of those others who were curious. When she saw him coming into view she stretched out her hand and touched a cloth tassel on his cloak and her bleeding stopped immediately.
Jesus stopped and asked, "Who touched me?" Peter told Jesus that people are pushing and shoving in on them, but Jesus said, "Someone has touched me; for I know the power has gone out of me." The woman realized she had not escaped notice, she came forward, dropped to her knees and explained why she had to touch him. Jesus said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace."

I realized that I was that hemorrhaging woman, I was on my knees trying to find comfort from the emotional pain. I put my hand into the air, and through my tears asked Jesus to heal me. I heard the words in my heart "Daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace."

I felt a peace I had never felt before; I was a changed person! I had experienced something brand new to me. I am a cradle Catholic and had never been exposed to scripture in such a personal way. My reading of scripture, my belief and my prayer had opened my heart for the love of Jesus. I let Jesus into my life that day in a way I never thought possible.

I was no longer afraid. There are so many times in the New Testament that Jesus says-Fear not or do not be afraid; but so many tell themselves that Jesus never dealt with (fill in the blank) or whatever crisis has our attention that day. It doesn't matter the crisis- always ask the Lord for peace or wisdom or clarity of mind and heart or whatever.

Let yourselves experience the freedom in loving and trust our Lord. When have YOU felt your prayers were answered? What were your impressions of that response from God?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home Parishioners!

Well, we've been back in the Church for Masses for three weeks. It's good to see your masked faces!
Many people have told me they watched the wonderful video with Fr. John showing all of the work done to get the Church ready to safely welcome people back.

If you are homebound still sheltering-in-place because you are high risk and you are lonely, please give me a call in the office 440-331-4255. I know how "loneliness" feels and everyone needs someone to talk to sometime. The members of St. Christopher parish are praying for those unable to attend Mass.

So what do you think of our "new Mass normal"?

It is different- but it's THE Mass and that makes it very comforting.
Personally, I really miss singing. I'm one of those people who believes that singing is a great way to pray- so I LIKE to sing.

What part of our "new normal" is difficult for you?

I have another question but it's not about Mass-do you read any Catholic blogs? If so, please send the titles back to me perhaps we can add them as links to this one.

To share your perspective or opinion just click the COMMENT button at the bottom of the post. YOU CAN COMMENT on anything you want! It's true, you really can!

I am hoping that you will send feedback with your reactions from the daily and/or the weekend masses. 

ALSO- before leaving the site, remember to subscribe by entering your email address in the space to the right of this post. I'm SURE you don't want to miss a post. 😇  I promise not more than once a week- unless something unprecedented happens..

My goal is to give everyone a voice to be heard by others.  I really enjoy trying to connect with parishioners.
And I really hope that you will leave comments- we can only learn from each other and STAY IN TOUCH if we communicate. We truly are all in this together and I am honored to be in with this great group. Be well...Stay safe.

Peace and all Good, my friends, 

Monday, June 1, 2020

The Experience of Shelter-in-Place for the Companions of St Christopher

Welcome to the Companions of St Christopher blog. The main reason for this blog is to engage with YOU, ask for your feedback, and provide information on faith and hearing the call from Jesus. Parishioners are unable to respond to items in the Parish Bulletin unless they call or email the source. With our blog everyone can respond and other people will have the opportunity to respond to you as we all share our thoughts and ideas.

In this first blog- we want to focus on the two months of sheltering-in-place. What was that like for you? 
·      How did you connect with God during this time? 
·      Where was God for you as you sheltered with spouse or other family members; or maybe you were alone. 
·      What feelings were you aware of? Were you surprised by the feelings?
·      How did God work through you or provide a path to action on a larger scale?
·      Maybe you read some spiritual books, religious texts, scripture?
·      Has this experience changed you in any way?

I have found myself to be somewhat lost. I am a “people person” and because of the virus I can’t see people. It makes me question my ministry and what more could I do to reach out to others. (Start a blog!!!!!!)

Did you have any unique experiences? Family in the hospital or a nursing home?

My mom's health took a negative turn. On April 2 she woke up, she was unable to speak intelligibly and she was very lethargic. The decision was made to refer her to hospice so on April 3, she became a patient of Holy Family Hospice at home. She died in the early morning of April 14. We realized that the wake would be just my dad, us four "children," spouses and grandchildren. My cousins and my aunts weren't able to come, my mom’s former business partners could not come; it was a soul crushing experience to not have any outside support when a loved one dies. The sense of alone-ness one feels at the loss of a parent or child is amplified when no one is allowed to come near.

So what say you?

Together, WE are all St Christopher… We do not attend Church; WE ARE THE CHURCH.