Hi Everyone,

It is Friday afternoon on what has been an exhausting week for me and so many of you…It dawned on me that weekly communication to everyone in CFCS is not enough. We are going to try to increase this to daily communication for those who just want to feel a bit more connected to what is going on nationally. You should have just received the latest update on the regulatory developments from Ron Gies, which tells us what is happening and what to consider in the coming week. We will always make this information relevant to funeral and cemetery services as we know you can get general update information from the media.

Our Blessings Are Abundant

I stated that “Our Blessings Are Abundant”, and for many of you this may ring hollow at the moment. I have seen weariness, fear, and panic set in this week. Many of us never thought that this Catholic cemetery and funeral ministry would ask to much of us. I want to tell you how blessed we are to have you, in whatever shape you are in right now mentally, physically, or emotionally. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It may not be understood by others in your diocese or parish, and you may not be hearing it from the families you are serving. We are blessed to have you and to work alongside one another.

There are so many stories to share. From healthy priests who were sent back from Rome to live quarantined in the cemetery caretakers house in Denver, to performing five coronavirus burials in San Jose, to the fear that cemetery staff might be getting sick at some of the cemeteries. In all of these fearful moments, the Holy Spirit has been present and God’s presence has become abundantly clear. There are graces to be found, but we have to find a moment of peace in the chaos to see them. At CFCS, we are learning how to share these stories in new ways. There are also the personal stories of each one of you. Please don’t be afraid to share your story. It can relieve stress and remind everyone that we are all living a blended work and family life. This is the only way that we will thrive going forward.

This week I was on more video chat meetings than at any time in my life. I got to meet many managers’ children and not always by their choice! It was fun, light-hearted, and I too continue to figure out how to let people into my life. This is what it means to be human. We will be forever changed and I think it will all be for the better. I hope we don’t forget these lessons that are bringing us together in new ways.

I realize that an email is less personal than a video or an in-person visit. We are all having to live with it. CFCS is determined to keep working at this, to be better at communication, to better care for each of our staff, and to better engage with families as they are grieving. This is a time that we can learn to express our Catholic faith to families and each other, as we journey together through these moments of loss, of grief, of difficulty.

Making Time For God, and Rest

Remember to find some time for rest this weekend. On Sunday, many of us will be tempted to attend a live streaming mass for the first time. It is going to be an adventure. Lots of questions arise as I think about friends and family deciding what this means to them: Which mass? Who’s the celebrant? Will the homily be good? What does it mean to attend if you can’t receive the Eucharist? How does God give us spiritual graces?

This Sunday I’d like to encourage all of you to look back at the last couple of weeks. Look for where God was in this experience. Take an opportunity to share those feeling with someone. If you feel comfortable, think about sharing it with someone you work with. Think about sharing your story.

As I plan for next week I am hoping to schedule a national town hall via Zoom in the next week or so. We also hope to have a mass live-streamed just for our CFCS employees. Talk to you next week.

With blessings and gratitude,