Anna was a nurse but also a dear friend of Mary Lee. Mary Lee was dying from cancer and Anna was taking care of her not only as a nurse, but more importantly, as her friend.

As Mary Lee entered Hospice, her doctor estimated that she had only about a month left, and so Anna tried to prepare herself for Mary Lee’s death.

One night, during the last week of the month, Mary Lee told Anna about a dear friend of hers, a Native American woman who told her about a beautiful custom of her tribe. In her tribe, when a person dies, the custom is to open a window so that the person’s soul could go to heaven like a gentle breeze out the window and fly heavenward to God. Anna kept thinking of this beautiful custom and couldn’t stop reflecting about how soothing and calming the gesture made her feel.

The next evening, while Anna held her hand, and after the priest had anointed her, Mary Lee quietly passed away. Slowly removing her hand from Mary Lee’s, Anna walked over to the window and gradually opened it. As she was staring out into the star filled night, she felt a breeze blow by her tear-stained cheeks. Anna knew in her heart that it was Mary Lee leaving earth for heaven, because the breeze came from inside the room, not from the outside.

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During Holy Week, we remember the passion and death of Jesus, but we cannot consider His death without remembering His Resurrection.

As St. Paul tells us, “If Christ has not risen from the dead, then in vain is our teaching and in vain is our faith!”

There are so many signs of life after life in our world and in our Church. Like this story of Mary Lee and Anna, the life of our beloved Jesus surrounds us, as do the memories of all those we love who have gone to God before us.

PLEASE JOURNEY WITH US, the Franciscan Friars, as we go with Jesus through His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

During this coronavirus pandemic, it may be difficult to attend Church for Mass and services. We are here for you at St. Anthony’s Guild. Join us in prayer and worship during this holiest time of the year.

Aside from our enclosed Holy Week Novena of Prayer Brochure, you can also view our Friar’s Meditation online at www.LentWithTheFriars.org. Here a Franciscan Friar will pray with you and for you during Holy Week. Together we can make this journey with Jesus and be with Him during this most Holy Week of the year.

Please also remember that God’s poor hold a special place during this sacred season, and that one of the three Lenten pillars, in addition to prayer and fasting, is giving to charity.

We urgently need your help to continue to care for the poor who come to our doors every day of the year.

Literally thousands of children, women and men who need our help for the basic necessity of food come to us! Franciscan Hearts cannot stand by while people are hungry!

We need your help to help them, especially when we are praying with our Suffering Lord! Holy Week is a time for giving as Jesus gave His life for us. Please join with the Friars as we journey through Holy Week together by walking with Christ, sharing what we have with His poor, and rejoicing in the Resurrection that is coming!

As always, we are praying for you and your intentions twice each day, caring for the poor in your name, and wishing the many blessings of Easter that God and St. Anthony send your way.

Happy Easter!

Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Executive Director
St. Anthony’s Guild

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