Saturday, April 16, 2005

I Was In Philadelphia Yesterday

Last night, Friday April 15, I was in Philadelphia, for a Memorial Mass for Terri Schindler Schiavo. Terri and the Schindlers are originally from the Philadelphia area, and still have many family and friends there.

The Mass was held at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Southhampton, which is the parish in which Terri grew up. The Schindlers were there, as well as long-time Schindler friend Msgr. Ted Malanowski. Fr. Frank Pavone was also there, and I was honored to meet him for the first time.

Several of Terri's old friends offered remembrances of her at the end of Mass, and they were quite moving. It is amazing how this woman, who could not speak for the last 15 years, nonetheless touched the whole world.

Fr. Pavone also spoke powerfully, at the reception following Mass. He concluded by saying that Terri's death "is not the end of Terri's fight, it is the beginning of a new chapter! Death wll not have the last word!"

Indeed, it will not. Neither for Terri, nor for the rest of us.