Edward M. Kennedy


Edward Kennedy’s funeral Mass took place the other day at Mission Church in Boston. It’s actually a church honoring Our Lady of Perpetual Help and is staffed by the Redemptorists.

Reports in the media say that the senator and his wife went there to “reflect” and look for healing. The media has trouble saying the word “pray.”

Not much was said about the long-standing devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help that has its center in that church, or that the Redemptorists, as their name indicates, are dedicated to the mystery of Redemption.

This is the prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help that most people who frequent that church would be aware of:

“See at your feet, O Mother of Perpetual Help, a poor sinner who has recourse to you and confides in you. O Mother of Mercy, have pity on me! I hear you called the refuge and the hope of sinners; be my refuge and my hope.

Help me, for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth your hand to a poor fallen sinner. I devote myself to your devotion and ask that you remember my needs (here make your request).

I bless and thank Almighty God, who in His mercy has given me the grace to seek eternal salvation in your holy name.

Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that we may be delivered through the help of your intercession, from the slavery of all our sins.


2 thoughts on “Edward M. Kennedy

  1. tomdegan

    Watching George W. Bush at the funeral of Teddy Kennedy yesterday was, to say the very least, amusing. It’s always great fun to witness the members of the vast right wing conspiracy confronted head-on with the theological flaws that are inherent in their philosophy. Watching that event with my pal, Kevin Swanwick, we both were mesmerized and just slightly overjoyed to be reminded yet again that the basic tenets of Liberalism are in perfect harmony with our Christianity – our Catholicism: feed the hungry, shelter the poor and clothe the naked. Oh, how I wish the camera would have cut to Bush’s face the moment he was confronted with the most famous line (and justly so) from the Gospel according to Matthew:

    “I tell you this: whatever you did to the least of these brothers of mine, you did to me.”

    Jesus of Nazareth

    One can only imagine how uncomfortable that passage from the scriptures must have made him feel. Or how about the Sermon on the Mount?

    “Blessed are the peace makers
    For they shall be called Sons of God.”

    I imagine being confronted with the words of Jesus Christ might make old George just a tad uneasy. The prayers that were offered up by the youngest members of the Kennedy clan, in Teddy’s own words, were the most touching part of the entire day:

    “That human beings be measured not by what they cannot do. That quality health care becomes a fundamental right and not a privilege. That old policies of race and gender die away. That newcomers be accepted, no matter their color or place of birth. That the nation stand united against violence, hate and war. That the work begins anew, and the dream lives on. We pray to the Lord.”

    Lord hear our prayer.

    After the mass had ended, and Kevin and I headed into town to get a cup of coffee, I was almost stunned by the good cheer I felt. Ted Kennedy’s funeral was truly a joyous event. Truth be told, it was damned-near therapeutic! The politics of joy as opposed to the politics of fear. There ain’t nothin’ like it in the world, Baby!


    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY


  2. vhoagland Post author

    I found myself thinking of Ted Kennedy in the light of some of the feasts we celebrated in church at the time his death. Augustine and his mother Monica. (August 27,28) and the Beheading of John the Baptist (August 29). Augustine is one of those people who came alive and flourished after his conversion by God’s grace, and he also had a good woman in his life.
    The Venerable Bede says about John the Baptist that “His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth.”
    Kennedy’s funeral at Mission Church was a reminder of God’s powerful grace, not denied to any of us. An amazing grace that comes at times and circumstances we hardly imagine and can hardly describe.
    For me, the most moving part of his funeral was his burial at Arlington when, as night fell and the cameras lost most of their power to capture the event and human observations were exhausted, the cardinal read Ted’s simple, heartfelt letter to the pope and the pope’s promise of God’s blessing.
    How concealed God’s mercy is, almost silent in our dark world. How wonderful that we all (even George Bush) have a shot at it.


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