Great American Catholic Eulogies

Great American Catholic Eulogies

by Carol DeChant

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Eulogies have a long and important history in remembering and commemorating the dead. As Thomas Lynch notes in his Foreword, eulogies are meant "to speak for the ages, to bring homage and appreciation, the final appraisal, the last world and first draft of all future biography." In Great American Catholic Eulogies, Carol DeChant has compiled fifty of the most memorable and instructive eulogies of and by Catholics in America.

The eulogies span the American experience, from those who were born before the Declaration of Independence was written to a modern sports legend, from pioneers in social justice, healthcare, and the arts to founders of distinctly American religious order, and from all the varied ethnic cultures who contribute to the great cultural milieu that is the United States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780879460129
Publisher: ACTA Publications
Publication date: 09/15/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 410
File size: 4 MB

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Great American Catholic Eulogies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CarolBlank More than 1 year ago
Each of the eulogies here, writes Carol DeChant, reflects its individual creator, with the language and style of his or her era. "They are here as they were given then." The book is presented in eight sections: heroes, family, friends, artists, those who served us, those who showed us the way, poetry, and remembrance of an unknown child. The chapters all begin with a brief profile of the individual who wrote the eulogy. Notes on sources are provided, as are general discussion questions for book groups. The two sections described below stand out for me not because they are more powerful or contain more little-known-facts than the others, but because the direction they take is unexpected. Tom Lynch's eulogy for his mother is laced with insights on the funeral industry. Lynch runs a family funeral home. In his eulogy we learn about his mother, of course, but we also see death and its surrounding rituals through the eyes of a professional dedicated to serving the living by caring for the dead. He writes of an embalmer who took meticulous care to prepare the body of a murdered teenager whose injuries would have led others to quickly say "closed casket." Lynch refers to author Jessica Mitford's denouncing "fussing over a dead body" as barbaric, and goes on to say that he sees this embalmer's painstaking work as a kindness. "It is easier to grieve the loss that we see, rather than the one we imagine or read about in the papers," Lynch wrote. The final section, We Remember the Unknown Child, is not a eulogy at all. It tells the story of a Chicago woman's response to learning of an abandoned baby found dead in a landfill. With a strong feeling of God's will, Susan Walker took steps to have the baby's body released to her so that she could arrange a proper burial. The service drew nearly 100 people. This mission turned into a non-profit corporation, Rest in His Arms, which benefits from donations of burial plots, headstones, and mortuary services as well as volunteers who arrange for funeral Masses with flowers, music, and hand-made burial garments. This work will certainly be an important part of eulogies for those engaged in it. This is a book to ponder, savor, and share.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago