The Missions: San Francisco and San José

Unless the mission is oriented by charity, that is, unless it springs from a profound act of divine love, it risks being reduced to mere philanthropic and social activity...Consequently, being missionaries means loving God with all one's heart, even to the point, if necessary, of dying for him. - Pope Benedict XVI

so this guy shows up after the 7 am Mass and asks if i can do a funeral at 10 for a 30 year old who died of complications due to hepatitis. i say sure, why not. about 1005 this group of people with a big truck in the front comes rolling down the street with the coffin on the back of the truck - we crank out a nice Mass with the choir and everything, and before the farewell i tell the people, "okay people, after the farewell we are going to walk to the cemetery - the choir will be singing, so either sing or be quiet out of respect for the dead." amazingly we strolled down the street for about 8 minutes until we reached the cemetery. they do not bury people here; i'm assuming that since they can't bury people on the coast that the tradition just continues up here. instead, they build small concrete sepulchres. when we got to the grave side the people gathered round in complete silence and i said the blessing of the grave and the final prayers and we (i) sung the salve regina - all things being equal a very fine funeral Mass. i'll try to take some pictures of the cemetery and post them later.


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