I just got off the phone with a dear friend. As many of you know, I spent the better part of fifteen years teaching Catholic moral theology to high school students in addition to my work as a school administrator. This was after my time in seminary and a five-year stopover in the world of broadcast TV news production. I am proud to say that I forged many lasting friendships with the young men and women who were in my charge every day. One such young man is now a college senior in Ohio. It was he who called me just now. And the news he shared was horrifying.
This young man had been born in New Orleans before moving to Texas with his family as a youngster. His father had not always been a Catholic but had entered the Church as an adult. The DRE at their parish in New Orleans, whom my friend describes as the most solid woman he’s known, was responsible for helping his dad enter the Catholic Church. This woman was rewarded for her efforts by becoming the godmother to my friend. They kept in touch over the years and he even says that they spoke regularly on the phone.
This woman – Ruth – was currently working as a pastoral associate at her parish outside of New Orleans. She was in the habit of having the retired pastor over to dinner every now and then. Yesterday (Sunday), she had invited Fr. over to watch the Saints game. A wanton thug apparently broke into the home and abducted the two. He then drove off with them before ultimately torching the vehicle with the pair still inside. He has been arrested and charged with murder.
Please stop right now and pray for the repose of their souls. Then pray that justice – true justice – be done. The man responsible for this deserves no less than the forfeiture of his earthly life and to be sent to God for his judgment.
Go ahead, I’ll wait…
My friend concluded by telling me, “I mean, I know she’s in heaven. She was a good woman.”
And that’s when I stopped him.
“I am sure she was a good woman if you are vouching for her. However, we do not know if any of us are going to make it. In charity for her soul, pray. Pray and have Masses offered for her. If she loved the Church as you say she did, there is nothing she would want more from you at this moment.”
The same all-merciful and all-just God who will deal with her murderer will, we hope, look kindly upon the prayers of those offered for his servants who must still be purified before seeing His Vision. “Lord Jesus Christ, for the sake of the tears of your Mother, hear our prayer and have mercy on us!”
Please pray for her soul and continue to pray for all the dead.