It has been awhile since we have had a funeral here at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. We count our blessings. But this week we celebrated the passing of two individuals who called this parish home.
Today I buried Marcella Bulischeck, 86, who had died in Cary, NC. She had made her home with her daughter, Kathleen and was a member of Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Cary. The funeral was celebrated here in Pennsylvania, because for Marcella, this was home. She had been born and raised in nearby McKeesport, and had lived in White Oak, a neighboring community. During that time she and her family belonged to our parish. Periodically she would drop us a note indicating her wishes to "come home" for her burial. As I shared in the homily, this parish and this area and her home in Cary were but a reflection of the true home in heaven that she knew was her right and destiny as a child of God. May she find rest and great peace and joy with the Lord as well as with those whom she loved - her parents, her husband "Lefty", her son and daughter and her siblings. I thank Saint Michael's for the ministry afforded her in her "home away from home".
On Wednesday I had the funeral Mass for Edward Makara, 85, one of the founding members of this relatively young parish (1978). He and his wife, Evelyn and their family have always considered this parish their spiritual home, and the strength of their family home was fed by their faith in the Lord. They have always been good to the parish family, and we entrust him to the loving embrace of a kind and gentle God. The family had a particular love for a little song that they shared at family moments, and while we normally do not include secular songs in the liturgy, following the recessional hymn we did escort Ed out of church with "You Are My Sunshine". Between the tears and smiles, the choir was joined by almost everyone present. May Ed Makara rest in peace, and may his family fine comfort and peace in the resurrected Christ.
And on a happier note, this afternoon I visited friends who are former parishioners at SEAS who had moved because of work almost two years ago to Akron, Ohio. After another job related change, they have moved back "home" to the local area, where their families and many friends are located. I caught Julie Henry and her two daughters, Jess and Jen, busy still unpacking after almost a week. They are glad to be back in the area, for there truly is "no place like home".