Some months ago, I asked Barbara McMahon, our parish secretary, to start working on a necrology for the parish. What’s a necrology? It’s a listing of people from a group (parish, religious order etc.) by date of death. My community, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, has a necrology. If you have ever attended a Mass at our motherhouse, St. Joseph’s Provincial House, you would hear something like the following as a last petition:
And we pray for our sisters who have died on this date: Sister Mary Jones who died in 1868, Sister Jean Smith who died in 1908, Sister Ann Joachim Masterson who died in 1952 etc.
And when the Sisters gather for Morning Prayer in any of our houses/convents, we read the names of the sisters there. It’s a wonderful way of remembering those who have gone before us and thanking God for the life that they have lived and the heritage they have passed on to us.
Barbara has just completed the necrology for the parish. What it involved was taking out all of the sacramental books listing the funerals at St. Michael’s. Although the parish was founded in 1874, we only have sacramental records from 1922 on. We believe that the earlier records were lost in the 1978 fire. Barbara took the available records and typed all the names with dates of death and then sorted them by the day and printed them. How will we use them? I hope that we can use the necrology to announce the parish members who have died on each day as the last prayer of petition…both during the week and at the weekend liturgies. No doubt, those of you who are long time parishioners of St. Michael’s will recognize many names and the memories that you hold in your heart for them will come quickly to mind. I hope, as well, that you will pray that each of them is enjoying eternal peace with the Lord. Please ask me if you have any questions about the necrology. I am grateful to Barbara for completing this very tedious task! She did a beautiful job. Sister Kate