“May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe…” Ephesians 1:18-19
Remember the Church
By Bronwen Lewis
What does it mean to “Remember the Church?” You may have seen these words regarding planned giving for a particular parish church or diocese. For Catholics, “the Church” is all-encompassing: it is our immediate family, our parish family, our tithe, our charities, our good works … it is the priests, the bishops, our beloved Pope, and our religious communities. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita are an integral part of our Church … wholly committed to Catholic teachings, with an apostolate to educate and help us form our children, and to pray for the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of priests.
Michelangelo’s “Pietà” is a magnificent sculpture of the Blessed Mother holding her Son. Her face says many things to many people … perhaps a sweet remembrance of Jesus, perhaps recognition that He is our Redeemer and through His suffering and death we will be able to enter Heaven, reunited with Him again. It is said that Michelangelo was remembering his own mother who died when he was only five years old. His memorial to her, wrought in marble, has moved untold generations of Catholics and others since its creation, and will move many millions more.
When we see the words, “Remember the Church,” it is a reminder to all of us that there are many ways to honor the Church when a loved one passes away. A memorial (taken from the Latin root “memorare”) is a gracious invitation from the family of the deceased to call to mind an important aspect of their beloved’s life. “Remember the Church” means honoring and memorializing any aspect of the Church that has touched your heart or the heart of your deceased family member. Like the Pietà, such a remembrance will be a legacy for the Church today and to our future generations.
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita could be for you such a blessing if you named them as a beneficiary of your memorial or included them in your estate planning. Memorials and planned estate gifts are a lasting tribute to the life and memory of the deceased. Prayers of remembrance by the Sisters are also a lasting tribute to your deceased loved ones, as there will be many generations of Sisters who will pray for them as they benefit from these types of gifts … Sisters who will be continuing and enriching the tradition of their apostolate with the help of gifts like yours.
May God have mercy upon the souls of the faithful departed and may they rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon them.
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