Father Ev Hemann, the Iowa priest who has shared much of his final days from cancer diagnosis to death, will be remembered in funeral rites this weekend and Monday. I note he’s getting quite a bit of notice around the blogosphere, and even at the Religion News Service.
We intersected in ministry a few times in my first Iowa sojourn (1995-2002) serving on a few committees together. We also overlapped at the Iowa State Catholic Student Center: his last year there, and my first. I knew him as a dedicated campus minister and liturgical priest. Carefully crafted homilies and prayerful presiding: this is what I will remember. Plus, his trademark sociability.
Our parish will host the first of two Father Ev vigils Saturday afternoon. The pilgrimage moves to Cedar Falls for a Sunday night vigil and a Monday morning funeral. I believe final committal will be in northern Iowa, at a family site in a cemetery there.
It will be a busy day at our parish, as the 2:30 vigil will be followed by 4:45 Mass with First Communion. The vigil and its preparations will be bracketed by First Communion, and its rehearsal and other preparations. It’s rather fitting for my departed friend, that he would insert himself so notably on such a liturgical day, and that we are used to his affable and graceful presence.