Friday, May 18, 2012

Farewell Father Qui Thac {Rest in Peace Marian}

 Zachary incenses Father Qui Thac at the preparation of the altar during Marian's funeral Mass.

As our Holy Universal Church enters into the celebrations of the Ascension followed by Pentecost, the selected readings recount Jesus' readying his disciples to let Him go and preparing them for life after his ascension: 
Jesus said to his disciples:d
"Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."

~John 6: 5-11
As we hear these Words proclaimed today by our beloved pastor Father Qui Thac, they are especially meaningful.  For he, too, is going to the Father (in a manner of speaking).  Discerning a call to monastic life, our cherished priest will enter the Benedictine Monastery, St. Martin's Abbey in Lacey, WA, in July.  We celebrate his devotion to our Lord and his willingness to follow wherever God's call may take him.  What a gift for our community to witness our pastor take this plunge into discerning life as a monk, serving God in a profoundly counter-cultural priestly lifestyle at the Abbey.  We will be sad to see him go, and we shall miss him terribly.  Yet knowing that he is so faithfully following the promptings of the Holy Spirit gives us great consolation in our sorrow at saying farewell.
Listen carefully, my son, to the master's instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart.  - Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict
Our Holy Archbishop Peter Sartain wrote a letter which was read aloud at each of the Masses last Sunday to inform us of Father Qui Thac's departure.  Our incoming priest is Father Joseph Altenhofen, ordained June 12, 2010, serving currently at St. Joseph in Vancouver, Washington.  Fr. Altenhofen is in our daily prayers as he prepares to come lead our Sacred Heart parish and serve as the chaplain for our mission, Western Washington University's Newman Catholic Campus Ministry.  Zachary remembers Fr. Altenhofen as a well spoken, outgoing seminarian who helped lead, rally and inspire Quo Vadis campers.  Our future looks bright.

Father Qui Thac elevates Jesus, Truly Present in the Eucharist

Our friend and faithful parishioner, Marian Main, died on Mother's Day, and was buried on Ascension Thursday (yesterday).  Marian's funeral Mass may be the final funeral our boys have the privilege of serving with Father Qui Thac before his entrance into the monastery.  Over the past six years, Zachary, Joseph and Peter have served dozens of funerals with Father, and Marian's funeral was especially meaningful for many reasons.  Marian had a profound impact on those who knew her and her husband, Jerry.  Our church was packed with people from many denominations, who respectfully witnessed Benediction before the Mass of Christian Burial for Marian.  Normally the Blessed Sacrament (Jesus) is not displayed on the altar for adoration before a funeral.  But Marian's husband, Jerry, fostered a special devotion to adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (every Saturday from 2-3AM to be exact) during her extended illness.  Jerry found profound peace and consolation in spending time with Jesus even as his heart yearned for the love of his life as dementia took Marian further and further away.

Pall bearers carry Marian's body from the church to the hearse.

Preaching with a gentle passion, Fr. Qui Thac spoke lovingly about Marian and Jerry, sharing the touching stories spoken by family and friends during the previous night's vigil service.  Preaching zealously, he called us out, exhorting all who loved Marian to follow Christ more faithfully and live in Him, in the Eucharist.  Father boldly exclaimed that anyone not moved to live their life more fully in Christ by Marian's example is simply a fool. 

Immediately following the heartfelt, impassioned sermon, a woman in the back began to complain out-loud to those near her about the (exact) number of minutes Father spent speaking. And so it goes.
Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.
~Proverbs 1:7
 Jerry thanks Father Qui Thac following the funeral Mass for Marian, his wife of 59 and three quarter years.
 Jerry sprinkles holy water, a blessing upon his wife's casket as it is loaded into the hearse.
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.

~ John 16:12-13

Visit Jen @ Conversion Diary


Anonymous said...

I loved this post Bridget. When is Father's last mass at Sacred Heart?

BRIDGET said...

Father's last Mass as our pastor at Sacred Heart will be June 3.

Anonymous said...

Lovely said Bridget. Let's continue all to pray for our friend and spiritual leader Father Marion. His influence and teaching are indeed indelibly imprinted in our hearts and our lives. Let's all continue to pray for one another and thank God for the gift of Fr. Joseph Altenhofen. - Selloane Breeding.