I have always been amused by today’s Gospel story about the woman who was married to seven brothers and there were no children from any of the marriages. Tragic that there were no children, but amused at the story itself. Life after this life is something we all wonder about, but we do not know what God has prepared for us. I myself have heard from a number of people in hospitals who had “near death experiences.” They all mentioned seeing one or more of their loved ones either beckoning them to come forward or sending them back. They also described a feeling of peacefulness. There are a number of books written about the same subject; they all said basically the same thing about their experiences at that “near death” time. Interesting and enlightening.

Today, I am with 42 of our St. Francis Pilgrims in France. Saturday morning we had Mass at the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere. In 1643, the people in the town of Annecy asked the Virgin Mary to intercede for the town to be spared from the black plague. In thanksgiving, they built this basilica dedicated to her. We then toured Tours, stopping at historical sites. On Sunday, we will be going to the Chateau Cenonceaux, then to Chateau Amboise and later Mass at the Basilique de St. Martin. Tomorrow we travel to the famous Chartres Cathedral with its magnificent stained glass windows that were not destroyed during World War. We will going to the Normandy Beaches and have Mass at the American Cemetery there. We pray for you each day at Mass.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.