All Souls: bless their hearts

Part of the blessing being a parish priest is that you are invited into some of the most intimate moments of a family’s life. There is perhaps none more intimate and intense than the moments when illness passes through uncertain diagnosis, to one which blurs into the final days of a life. It is part of a life of ministry to be into a family whose loved one’s days are numbered. It is a privilege to journey with the family are they prepare for the loss that surely and steadily this way comes. In those times, Hope can seem more tentative, more distant; perhaps hovering on the edge of disappointment. Continue reading


This coming Sunday is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time of Year B in the lectionary cycle. Lurking in the background of our reading is the first-century Jewish system of levirate marriages (Gen 38 and Deut 25:5-10). In short, if a man dies without leaving a son, his widow is forbidden to marry outside his family. One of her deceased husband’s brothers must assume the duty of the levir, taking her as his wife. The first male of this second union is considered the son of the deceased brother. Continue reading