The Holy Family — Funeral Homily for Cecilia Paulus, 95

By Deacon Dick Kostner

Today we gather not to be sad because we will no longer see one of St. Paul’s and St. Jude’s “elders”, one of St. Paul’s and St. Jude’s parish family members, but rather that we will have sent a very special person from our community to be personally present as our representative for Jesus’ birthday party tomorrow night. It is there that Cecilia will be present with all Holy Family members to celebrate God’s gift to all Children of our heavenly Father who created us to proclaim to the world His love for us shown through the birth of His son Jesus, our Savior and our mentor.

Having known both Cecilia and Toni for my whole life I can only imagine what that party will be like with all three “Lang girls” sharing their life stories with Jesus at one time. My mom and dad were good friends of the Erickson family. My mom golfed with Cecelia and my dad was on the Bank Board of Directors for many years with both Jim and Arndt. After Arndt died my dad retired from the Board and I replaced him as a Director for the Bank in 1977 and after Jim sold the Bank I was asked to stay on as a Director with the Ogrin Family and I still serve on that Board to this day. Cecilia stayed connected with that Bank for many years after Arndt’s death and would attend the Banks Annual meeting to be sure the new owners would continue to serve her “family” in the New Auburn area.

Our First Reading today from the Book of Wisdom identifies the importance of “Family” in God’s plan of Salvation for all of God’s children. It talks of God’s “elect” those born into the Holy Family of God through their Baptism. It proclaims that Cecilia is safe and sound for it says “The souls of the just are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them.” It goes on to say:…because God tried them and found them worthy of himself, he proved them, and he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine.” One thing is known for sure about the “Lang girls”, they are not bashful and they will want answers from God as to why there is need for so much suffering in this world, and why does it take so long sometimes for God to answer our calls for help.

Cecilia was a person of great faith and she cherished and loved not only her blood relatives and family but also her extended Parish Family and Friends. She acknowledged that she did not understand everything that God wanted of her but through Faith said yes to those challenges. She was one of St. Paul’s daily Mass people. She would join her “family” every day for Mass arriving early enough to participate in Mark leading her Parish family in praying the Rosary and then celebrating Eucharist with that family followed by going to Main Street after Mass for breakfast to get caught up on the lives of she loved. She was the community historian. She knew the blood lines of most everyone in the Bloomer Area. If someone wondered why so and so was at a person’s funeral or wedding, one only needed to call Cecelia to find out their family tree and relationship to that family.

And yes she could be stubborn. When I would be doing a Communion Service for Father some mornings I would always see her walking from her apartment to the Church. While I would always ask if she wanted a ride when the weather was bad she would say: “No thanks, I need the exercise.” I think this was her time to have some one on one talks with Jesus. I finally would not even bother to ask if she wanted a ride so I would just blow the horn at her. She would just give me a big smile and wave me bye. One day I asked her why she always had a big smile for me when I honked the horn at her and she gave me the answer. She said: “I may be in my eighties but the boys still honk their horns at me!” That was our Cecilia, loving and as honest as the day is long. We were all blessed to have known the Lang Girls in this life and all of us will await the day when we can join our Holy Family in person at a party with Jesus without any fears or struggles. Jesus instructed us of the two great Commandments Love of God and Love of neighbor. He also instructed us of who is Blessed by giving us the Beatitudes. Cecilia showed us how to fulfill those Commandments and how to be blessed. Cecilia will always be our community Holy Family Mentor. Remember her in your prayers and Mass celebrations, and ask for her prayers for us during these very trying times in our world.

Merry Christmas Cecilia and please continue to stay in touch with this faith family through our celebrations of the Mass.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: