Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral will be held at a Catholic Church in Manhattan

momento mori

Memento Mori
(Latin for ‘remember that you will die’)

Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Feb. 2, and had roughly 70 bags of heroin in his possession at the time, five of which were empty.

The Oscar-winning actor, 46, is survived by his girlfriend, costume designer Mimi O’Donnell, and their three young children.


Cardinal Dolan at slain teacher’s funeral: “Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends.”

n New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan told mourners at the funeral of 52-year-old Anne Marie Murphy that the teacher “brought together a community, a nation, a world, now awed by her own life and death.”

Murphy’s father, Hugh McGowan, said authorities told him that she died trying to protect her young pupils. Her body was found covering a group of children’s bodies as if to shield them, McGowan said.


Priest who withheld communion from lesbian buddhist tells his story

I am confident that my own view, that I did the only thing a faithful Catholic priest could do in such an awkward situation, quietly, with no intention to hurt or embarrass, will be upheld.

Read more from Father Marcel Guarnizo

The late Monkees singer Davey Jones is Catholic

(CBS News) Davy Jones, one-time teen heartthrob and The Monkees singer, was remembered Wednesday at a private funeral service at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Indiantown, near his home in Florida.


Editor’s note: Kind of gives “The Last Train To Clarksville” a whole new meaning.

Father Jim Fenstermaker: What Today’s Catholics Should Know About Cremation

In the early church, cremation was seen as a rejection of the doctrine of the Resurrection. In 1963, the Catholic Church ended its ban on cremation, provided that the reason for choosing cremation was not contrary to Christian beliefs. In this change, the body was still to be present for the Mass of Christian Burial (the actual name for a Catholic funeral Mass), with cremation to follow. The 1997 revision of the Order of Christian Funerals, however, allowed the cremated remains to be included as part of the funeral rite in the church. This change was made out of a pastoral sensitivity for the increasing number of people choosing to cremate the body of a loved one immediately after death yet still seeking a Catholic funeral.

The church still strongly recommends the traditional burial of the dead. The earlier 1989 revised Order of Christian funerals states, “Since in Baptism the body was marked with the seal of the Trinity and became the temple of the Holy Spirit, Christians respect and honor the bodies of the dead and the places where they rest…” This is emphasized in the Mass of Christian Burial by the sprinkling of the casket with holy water and its draping with the white pall.

If the funeral liturgy is to be celebrated with the cremated remains, they are contained in a “worthy vessel” and placed on a table where the casket normally would reside. The paschal candle (a symbol of Christ’s resurrection) is placed, as usual, in that location. Scripture readings chosen by the family should not make any reference to the body.

After the funeral rite, a very important issue is the disposition of the cremated remains, which should be buried in the ground or entombed in a columbarium (a cemetery vault designed for urns). The remains should be respected in the same manner, as would the body of a deceased. They should not be put on display or kept in the home of the family, nor scattered in the wind. The church expects a more reverent disposition of the earthly remains of the deceased.


A Man’s Primer on Funeral Etiquette

Funeral processions are one of the few remaining outward signs of death in this society.

After the funeral, everyone will get in their cars and proceed as a group to the cemetery. The cars will follow behind the hearse. Turn on your headlights and emergency blinkers and closely follow the car in front of you. The procession will drive slower than the speed limit. If the procession starts through a light while it’s green and it turns red by the time you get to it, keep on going. State laws allow funeral processions to drive through red lights and stop signs.

As a normal driver, when you come upon a funeral procession, do your best to let them pass and stay together. Don’t try to cut into the procession. If safe, pull to the side of the road and let the line keep going. In the old days, men got out of their cars and doffed their hats while the procession passed. Probably too dangerous on our modern thoroughfares, but a nice thought.

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Murdered Yale Graduate Student Annie Le Was Catholic


Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual Light shine upon her; may her soul and all souls, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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