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This is the second time in just a matter of days that I am among you. Earlier in the week, I came to preside at the funeral of your dearly departed friend and son of this parish, Paul Melis. May his memory be eternal.

Now, I return to pray with you, to worship with you, and to express to you my deep appreciation for this loving and devout community. Especially in times of loss, we must support each other. It is an essential Christian virtue that we recognize our interdependence – that we are all members of the one Body of Christ. When one suffers, all suffer. This is the literal meaning of “compassion,” that we are willing to empathize with one another.