Bringing Christ to Others — Funeral Homily for Loretta Logslett, 89

Loretta has been a faithful St. John the Baptist parishioner for very many years. Meeting our Lord Jesus Christ at his churches like this one was Loretta’s priority. Her son, Dean, says that she would leave a party early to attend a Sunday Mass, to contemplate and gaze upon Christ’s loveliness in his house and temple as today’s psalm says, before returning to the party after. In 1955, she married Julian here, her loving husband for 55 years. Today, Loretta shall be buried from here, and entrusted to her loving Lord forever.

Since 1977 she has worked at the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center as a nutrition cook. Her coworkers say that she provided them with generous food portions. But Loretta always knew that we do not live on bread alone. Residents in nursing homes often have limited mobility. Health and transportation problems prevent them from coming to church for Mass like they used to, and they miss it. They miss visiting that holy place of contact, they miss that sacred encounter, and they may feel separated from the Lord. But as St. Paul asks, what can ever separate us from Christ’s love? He who died for us, who was raised for us, and who sits at God’s right hand and intercedes for us, sends us help and consolation. Jesus sent Loretta to that nursing home not only to feed bodies but also to feed souls.

Loretta brought to its residents Jesus in the Holy Eucharist – the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood – the food which gives eternal life. On days when a priest could come for monthly Mass there, Loretta helped set up the room for the celebration, she brought residents to the altar in their wheelchairs, and proclaimed the scripture readings. And throughout the week, she was a pleasant, joyful presence. She would visit residents in their rooms, genuinely befriend them, and pray the Rosary with them. Loretta’s coworker, Robert Johnson, reflected and shared that Loretta may have personally inspired among them some conversions to Christ and his Church. They were not able to make the trip to Jesus, so Jesus came to them in, with, and through Loretta.

These are things we would expect to see in someone very close to the Lord: a consuming desire to see him and be with him, a longing wish that others would know and love him too, a living reflection of his goodness and love in everything one does. Here today, we offer the greatest prayer of Christ’s Church, the Holy Mass, to aid Loretta on her journey to God and to comfort and strengthen us who remain here. On this day of hope and mourning, on this day of reflecting on the past and of looking forward to tomorrow let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to increase our Christian devotion, to purify our love for him, to make us truly grateful for his gifts, to make us faithful, like Loretta.

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