Over 40 gather for annual Memorial Day Mass

Father Gene Schroeder delivers the homily during Memorial Day Mass May 27 inside of the mausoleum at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. The Message photo by John Rohlf

By John Rohlf

The Message assistant editor

Father Gene Schroeder celebrated the annual Memorial Day Mass May 27 at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Evansville. 

Over 40 people attended the Mass, which was held inside the mausoleum at the cemetery. Prior to the start of Mass, Father Gene Schroeder welcomed all to the annual mass. 

“Remembering this is so very important,” Father Schroeder said. “Everybody in life wants to know that they will be remembered. The people will not forget them. So it is appropriate that we come together today not only to remember our brothers and sisters who have died but to remember and to honor the gift of service that they gave.” 

During his Homily, Father Gene Schroeder said in Jesus’ final prayer to his disciples found in John 17:14-17, he reminds them that if they are going to follow the Gospel and try to live as he taught them, they will in a lot of ways feel like they do not fit in the world. He said in many ways, what we speak here, read in the Scriptures and what we see in the world seem totally at odds. 

He noted for the past 125 years, it has been one war after another for the past four generations. 

“You might think that what Jesus might say is I’m going to try to protect you as much as I can and then as soon as I can, I’m getting you the heck out of dodge because you don’t belong there,” Father Schroeder said. “But interestingly, in this Gospel reading what he prays is I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them strong and give them courage.”

Father Schroeder said in every generation, people of good will have to grapple with the question of what to do in the face of evil. 

He concluded his homily with stating on Memorial Day, we remember many people who gave their lives for a cause greater than them. 

“I have to stand back in awe of that,” Father Schroeder said.