By Tim Lilley
The Message editor
Father Gene Schroeder, Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Vanderburgh County and President of St. Joseph Cemetery in Evansville, celebrated the cemetery’s annual All Souls Mass Oct. 29 in the Mausoleum Chapel at the cemetery. A crowd estimated at 150 attended, filling most of the temporary seating in the chapel.
Members of Knights of St. John Commandery #282 of St. Wendel Parish in St. Wendel served as the honor guard for the Mass
In his homily, Father Gene talked about some of the messages provided by Dominican Father Timothy Radcliffe, Master Emeritus of the Order of Preachers, whom Pope Francis named to lead a retreat for participants in the Synod on Synodality in Rome. Father Timothy’s retreat talks are posted to YouTube (search Synod Retreat 2023), and Father Gene focused on one theme Father Timothy discussed during the retreat.
Father Gene said, “One thing (Father Timothy) said was, If you’re going to love, you’re probably going to get hurt. We all know that, if we truly live and give all of ourselves to someone, it’s not fun when that person dies. On the other hand, if we don’t love, we die inside.”
Father Gene suggested that anyone who takes the risk of loving will be changed. He said, “The impact (of loving) can be way beyond what we might think. Whatever gift we have to offer through loving, put it out there and let it be. Our work is offering that gift.”
He added, “God can take our work and do greater things than we ever imagined.”
At the opening of Mass, Father Gene read the names of the 246 people who were interred at St. Joseph Cemetery and Mausoleum during the past year. At the end of the list, attendees joined Father Gene in praying for all who had died over the past year.
That prayer included: “Go faithful friends, we do not grudge your glory. With you, we believe that Christ will, one day, come for us all. With you, we now celebrate that Jesus keeps his word.”
Dominican Father Timothy Radcliffe, Master Emeritus of the Dominican order. From England.