Sunday, November 29, 2015

(165) A Tribute to Doris Cormier.......a New Orleans gal who will be in that number when the saints go marching in.

      Doris Cormier, born and raised in New Orleans, is a very interesting person worth sharing with those who did not know her.  In giving a eulogy at her funeral, the traditional gospel song of New Orleans, "When the Saints Go Marching In" became so meaningful to me and all those present.  May we learn from it and from Doris too.  

A EULOGY TO DORIS CORMIER (1925-2015)

Doris Cormier at the wedding of her granddaughter Diane

       As an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister since 2009, I had the opportunity to know Doris well during that time.  It was an awesome privilege to bring Christ Himself and His love to her in Holy Communion every Sunday, to pray with her, and to help her in a little way for her encounter with the Lord in eternity.

I was supposed to minister to Doris, but she also ministered to me.  She placed great value on the Eucharist and she did spiritual reading.  She was faithful to her Catholic Church to the end.

I enjoyed Doris.  She was wonderful to me.  She’d always have a snack for me, first in her own home and later in the Nursing Home.  Doris was always so hospitable and generous.  She was a leader on the Nursing Home Council, even arranging for a religious service.

  Doris loved to have visitors and talk.  Mary Louise, she so much appreciated you and all of your visits as well as Ella Bokovitz and Irene Surber, who also visited her on occasion. Doris had nobody else here outside of Susan and her family.  She also loved football, especially her New Orleans Saints who are not on television much in our area.  But we would watch my Pittsburgh Steelers.
 
Doris loved Susan and her family very much.  She often would show me pictures of her four grandchildren, Dianna, Stephanie, Amanda, and Joseph and tell me how they were doing.  She was so excited about her great grandson, Roman.  It was a joy for me to meet him.  You all enriched the life of Doris Cormier and have a legacy to follow.

Doris would often talk about her beloved husband, Maurice, but called him by his nickname, Moose.  Born and raised in New Orleans, they would go to football games of the New Orleans Saints when they featured all-pro wide receiver Danny Abramowicz, today the host of EWTN’s “Crossing the Goal” on Men’s spirituality, and his great quarterback, Archie Manning, the father of Peyton and Eli, both star pro quarterbacks today. 

Doris missed Moose very much.  Occasionally, she would complain that Moose should have hung on longer and put up a better fight against his Cancer as if he had control.  I would just say, “Doris, someday we’ll all be together again for that one big party” and she smiled.  May we all make it to Heaven and join that big party.

Although very spry, Doris suffered a lot as we all will... sooner or later.  I tried to impress her with the fact that suffering can be very valuable and productive.  If accepted in faith, it can be a great preparation for eternity.  I would say, “Doris, you can reap great fruits with your prayers and by uniting your cross with the Lord’s cross of Calvary and offering it all up to God as a dynamic prayer for the Church, the missions, for our country, for a better world, and for your loved ones.  God knows how much our country needs prayers.  In that way you can be most valuable.”  And she did that.
 
May the fact that Doris died on a date so close to All Souls Day November 2 inspire us to pray often for Doris and all of our deceased loved ones.  After all, according to Catholic belief, most souls that make it to Heaven must first spend time in Purgatory in order to become holy enough to be in the presence of the most holy Almighty God.   May Doris inspire us to strive to become holy and saints on earth in the here and now.  The Church helps us to achieve that goal if we only take advantage of it.

       Please permit me to close with the somewhat abbreviated lyrics of an old Gospel song often sung at New Orleans funeral marches.  I’d like to dedicate it to Doris.

The Lyrics of “When the Saints Go Marching In” 

We are traveling in the footsteps
Of those who've gone before
But we'll all be reunited
On a new and sunlit shore

Oh when the Saints go marching in
When the Saints go marching in
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

And when the sun refuses to shine
And when the sun refuses to shine
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the moon turns red with blood
When the moon turns red with blood
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

On that hallelujah day
On that hallelujah day
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

O when the trumpet sounds the call
O when the trumpet sounds the call
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

Some say this world of trouble
Is the only one we need
But I'm waiting for that morning
When the new world is revealed

When the revelation comes
When the revelation comes
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the rich go out and work
When the rich go out and work
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When the air is pure and clean
When the air is pure and clean
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When we all have food to eat
When we all have food to eat
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

When our leaders learn to cry
When our leaders learn to cry
O Lord, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in

Songwriters: Traditional,
When The Saints Go Marching In lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.,

Let’s all try to sing the most popular verse together.  We can’t do as well as Louis Armstrong, but let’s try.  Everybody sing!

Now when the saints……..go marching in
When the saints go marching in
Lord, I want to be….. in that number……
When the saints go marching in

          In any event when the saints go marching in, I know that this New Orleans gal, now young and beautiful, will be one of them.  May all of us some day also be in that number among the saints that go marching in.  Let’s all work on it with our lives as faithful practicing Christians with our lives.  Doris, we love you.  Good-by until we see you again.

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