This morning, Fr. Mike Surufka, OFM came to our parish to celebrate the funeral Mass for his father, Lou. Lou was a long-time parishioner at St. Thomas More. He and his wife were staples here at the parish and Lou was remembered for the many — repeat, MANY — years that he ushered the 10:00 a.m. Mass.
Lou buried his wife from the parish a few years ago and he missed her so. I am certain that he is happy now that they are united once again.
Fr. Surufka had several of his Franciscan friends with him at the funeral. Community and family are so very important, especially when one of us loses a parent. We talked in the sacristy before Mass about this since both of his parents are now gone.
Many people, I think, do not take the time to consider what the loss of a parent does to a priest or religious. They think, “Well, they’re men of God, they’re okay.” Yes. We are men of God. However, we are people just like anyone else and losing a parent affects us all.
My life is radically different pre- and post-parents. There is a special grief when you realize that neither of them are there to call or visit. Yes, our faith is firm and we believe that we shall see them again one day. But, for the immediate time, we’d like to see them again.
So, if you would, kindly keep Fr. Surufka in your prayers as he and his siblings process the loss of their second parent.
Rest in peace, Lou. You were one heck of a parishioner!