Word for Word 2/28/18

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
Fr. Mark Osterhaus

In the February 14, 2018 issue of The Standard, there was a front page article about the car accident which claimed the lives of Joan Lyons and Mary Engrav. I was able to witness some of the outpouring of condolences and support given to their family members, and the community involvement in celebrating their lives.

There have been several tragic deaths in our area over the past few weeks. As one person said: “Our entire community is grieving.” Questions often asked are: “How do we get through this?”, and  “What can I do to help?” There are a variety of ways we can respond and help one another.

On the front page of that same February 14 issue of The Standard was an article listing resources for coping with loss and suffering. Included were some websites, as well as support groups. Both Veterans Memorial Hospital (second Tuesday of each month) and St. Patrick Parish (last Sunday of each month) offer monthly grief support groups. Just talking and listening can help a lot in dealing with loss.

The Allamakee County Clergy Association plans to host an ecumenical prayer service March 11 at 4 p.m. at St. Patrick Church in Waukon. We would like to gather in prayer and ask for God’s consolation as we mourn.   We would also like to raise awareness in the community of how to inspire and help one another.

Waukon High School plans to have guest speaker Aaron Thomas speak at the high school at 7  p.m. Tuesday, March 13. Aaron’s father, Applington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas, was killed by one of his former players. Aaron will talk about his grief, and what gives him hope.

Our prayer service Sunday, March 11 will be good preparation for Aaron’s inspiring message.  In addition, St. Patrick Parish plans to host a speaker April 25 at 7 p.m. who will address the subjects of depression, suicide and how to help one another through the grieving process. These events are all open to the public. As we look for ways to respond to these deaths, it is good that we turn to God and support one another.

Fr. Mark Osterhaus
St. Patrick Catholic Church
Waukon

 

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