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Fr. Arnone touched so many hearts


There were powerful emotions on display at St. Rita Church in Harahan on May 10, and Archbishop Gregory Aymond acknowledged them as he celebrated the Funeral Mass May 10 at St. Rita Church in Harahan for Father John Arnone.
 
Father Arnone, who had spent the last year at Notre Dame Seminary working with seminarians on their pastoral formation, died May 5 at the age of 49 due to complications from a heart procedure.
 
Archbishop Aymond was joined by more than 150 priests and permanent deacons, and more than 1,000 mourners attended.
 
“We all come together to mourn, but we also give thanks to God for Father John,” Archbishop Aymond said. “There is no doubt that we come together today with more questions than answers. We have said during these weeks: ‘He’s only 49. He had so much more to give as a priest. Why him? He’s so young. He was a good priest, not only in parish life, but also as a member of the seminary faculty. He brought Christ to so many people, and there is no doubt God used him to bring people back to the church. Why him? Why now?’
 
“God only really knows the answers. We won't have those answers until we stand before God on our last day.”
 
The archbishop said God's ways often are unknowable, but he takes comfort in Jesus' words: “I am the Resurrection and the life. Those who die shall live.”
 
It is a mystery, the archbishop said, that some people “can do more good in death than they can in life. We also have the words of St. Therese of Lisieux who said, ‘I will spend my heaven doing good things on earth.’”

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