Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sheboygan parish, community begin healing process after Fr. Jarumbo's death

In the Catholic Herald of August 11, 2005, Sam Lucero reports on the July 30, 2005 death and the subsequent funeral of Fr. James Jarumbo, pastor of St. Dominic Church in Sheboygan, as well as on the effect of his death on his parish. It's a two page spread with color photos.

Usually the death of one of our priests is marked by the Herald with a half column and small black and white portrait. What was it about Fr. Jarumbo and his death that there was such extensive coverage?

He killed himself.

The article, in passing, spells out the contrast between the practice it describes at length and what's preached.

In the Catholic Church, suicide has the stigma of going against God's plan.

"Show me," you might ask Archbishop Dolan, a Missouri native.
Although Fr. Jarumbo knew church teachings "forward and backward," he was open to new ideas, said Puls. [Jean Puls, coordinator of high school religious education and sacramental preparation at St. Dominic]

And one of those new ideas is that there ought to be no stigma in suicide. The Herald of August 4, 2005 ran this column by Fr. Ron Rolheiser in which he said,
Even though we know better, we're still haunted by the feeling that suicide is the ultimate act of despair, a deed that somehow puts one outside the family of humanity, the mercy of God, and (in the past) the church's burial grounds.

May God have mercy on Fr. Jarumbo's soul.

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