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Memorial Day Masses Honor Sacrifices of Service Members

Posted on May 29, 2023 in: News

Memorial Day Masses Honor Sacrifices of Service Members

(FCC Newsdesk, May 29, 2023)

Memorial Day Masses to honor the sacrifices of service members, took place throughout the diocese today, Monday, May 29.

Monsignor Les Janik, Vicar General for the diocese, concelebrated Mass with priests from the Norwich deanery at St. Joseph Cemetery in Norwich. A dedicated group of more than 50 people gathered under a perfect backdrop of sunny skies, a brisk breeze, and singing birds to honor the U.S. Armed Forces men and women who died in military service to our country. 

While at Saint Mary Cemetery in New London, the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote concelebrated Mass with priests from the New London deanery, at the cemetery's outdoor altar. Parishioners of St. Brendan the Navigator Catholic Community participated in the Mass.

Bishop Cote began the homily, "Let us recall the moving words of the following hymn."

Remember, Lord, the fallen
Who died in fields of war,
In flaming clouds, in screaming crowds,
On streets that are no more,

That we today might waken
And greet this day in peace
With grateful prayer for those who bear
The storms that never cease.

Remember friends and strangers,
And those forgotten now;
Whose names are known to you alone,
Before whose love we bow,

And ask that you surround them
With mercy’s endless light
That they may live, and we forgive
The foe they went to fight.

Remember, Lord, the living.
Who bear the pain of loss-
A death she died who stood before
Her Son upon the cross.

Remember all your children
The dead and those who weep,
And make us one beneath the sun
Where love will never sleep.
 

He then continued, "Throughout America, memorial services are being held today, wreaths are being placed on tombs, as a nation, we honor our military men and women who have given their lives in service of our country. Not only in past wars but also in the brave men and women who continue to lay down their lives for our beloved country. 

In this sacred place today, we offer Mass for the intentions of all those brave men and women of our military who died for our country, for us, and for our freedoms. We also pray for the protection of all military personnel wherever they may serve, especially those in harm's way. We pray for those who have been wounded, maimed, and continue to suffer the ravages and scars of war.

Finally, we remember in prayer, all those who have lost loved ones; a son, a daughter, a husband, a wife, a father, a mother, a sister, or a brother. We mourn certainly, but we do not mourn as those who have no hope of life after death. For ours is a faith that tells us that Jesus who died and rose from the dead will bring to eternal life all who believe in Him, and trust in His love. For all who trust in the Lord Jesus, there is no room for fear for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is our Shepherd.

War and aggression are evils -- evils which we will always and clearly wish never came to pass. Yet men and women of goodwill fight aggressors, with the intention of preserving our freedoms, and our peace. In the end, however, there is only one who can preserve our peace and tranquility -- God Himself. And so it is that we raise our voices to God in prayer for the gift of worldwide peace.

Peace was the very gift that our Lord extended to His disciples upon seeing them for the first time after His resurrection. When we pray for peace, whether it be in our families, our communities, or in foreign lands, we pray, that men and women everywhere, will seek a conversion of heart and God's will in their lives.

For this gift, we ask today, for our leaders, and the leaders of all nations of all people for such conversion of heart is the only true way to lasting peace among us.

For all who have individually fought for our freedoms, know the rewards of everlasting life, and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace"

A volunteer cleans the markers of those who served.

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