Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A litany for a pastor

The pastor of my parish, an Augustinian friar, died yesterday.  He was young, or least my age, which feels to me young. There will be a mass on Thursday at the parish, another on Friday at the Augustinian church on Villanova's campus.  I wrote the intercessions for Thursday's liturgy, reaching for the form of a litany, thinking, too, of a long ago theology grad school classmate and Dominican sister who would remind us that we should always be blessing.  May he be blessed, may we all be so blessed.

In baptism
John was marked with the cross, clothed in Christ,
and entrusted with the eternal light, undimmed in sharing.

        May that Light guide his way home.

In the Eucharist,
John was nourished by the sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood.

        May he be welcomed to the eternal feast in the halls of heaven.

In Holy Orders
John was anointed to sanctify God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people, a priest forever.

        May he now joyfully celebrate at the heavenly altar.

John tended the earthly gardens God entrusted to him with joy, tenderness, mercy and compassion.

        May the communities at Monsignor Bonner, Villanova, Maggie Valley and Our Mother of Good Counsel continue to grow in love and mercy.

        May the gardens he planted flourish for years to come.

For all who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith,
who await us in the heavenly kingdom.

        We pray.


  1. Very beautiful Litany!!!! Small world ... I have followed your blog but never realized you were in my backyard. I will be at the funeral on Friday at Villanova. I have been a Secular Augustinian there since 2007 and it saddens me to see so many wonderful Friars who i've shared wonderful discussions with, pasing away. Been to far too many of these funerals at Villanova compared to last week's Ordination.

    1. It's hard to see the ranks change, we pray at Morning Prayer for the Augustinians who have died on that day, which makes me so aware of that long line. And I always think of my readers as not local, so nice to discover it's a smaller world than I think.

  2. yes, beautiful. Thank you for sharing.