Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Service Remembers Those Who Gave Their Lives In Service To America

The Message photo by Tim Lilley

Father Gene Schroeder, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Vanderburgh County and president of the St. Joseph Cemetery Board of Directors welcomed scores of friends and family members who filled the cemetery’s mausoleum for the annual Memorial Day service on May 28.

He talked about soldiers buried in the cemetery who served in the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. “We remember so many people willing to give themselves to a cause greater than themselves,” he said. “That is good.”

He also asked those in attendance to pray for their families – and for the mean and women who went off to war and came back changed people. “We hold of them in prayer, especially those who still carry the woundedness of service,” he said.

Jesus came to teach us to have a different presence in the world – one based on peace, not in violence, Father Schroeder said. “Whether it’s quarreling or offering a different kind of presence … those are learned behaviors. We must make a peaceful presence in the world, a be a peaceful presence,” he said.

The service included Morning Prayer from the Litany of Hours, and it concluded with the following prayer, presented here in its entirety:

“Today we come together to remember all those who have lost their lives in service to our country. Help us to treasure the gift they have given of serving a cause greater than themselves. As we honor their service today, Lord, help us also to remember the millions of innocent people who have also died because of our failure to live together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Hold them all, O God, in the tender compassion of your heart. Help us keep the memory of these departed brothers and sisters alive in our hearts. Help us dedicate ourselves again and again to building a world of peaceby being makers of peace in our own lives. Give us courage to be instruments of forgiveness and healing in our world. Help us be your presence in the world until the day when we will be united in the fullness of life in your kingdom, where there will be no more suffering and death, and every tear shall be wiped away. Amen.”