Dear Beloved Family,
This morning at 8:15 a.m. Andrea’s miracle was granted. Her healing came after she passed away, meeting Jesus. With many tears of sadness the whole community was gathered with the family around Andrea. Amidst the sorrow, there was the consolation of knowing that she carried her newborn baby in her arms to Heaven, who died in her womb. All the community was able to be present several hours beforehand, to say our goodbyes and usher her into Heaven with our love and prayers. Andrea died a very peaceful death.
We would like to share the stories of her last day and hours with you, but it is more than we can adequately put together at this moment. As many of you have walked this path with us, we want you to have a share not only in the sadness, but also in the peace and joy that is ours today, knowing that Andrea was fully ready to meet her Savior face to face, and Our Lady with Him. Some time this week, we will publish the rest of Andrea’s story, as well as how we live our lives here in community, both in life and death, our final goodbyes, and how we bury our loved ones.
Please know that all are welcome to come and be with the community for the wake and funeral services. For those who have attended the weddings at Caritas, you know they are something to behold, lasting for several hours in which Our Lady’s presence with Her Son, Jesus are very much felt. So, too, do we celebrate the wedding of the souls of our community members when they pass into eternal life, giving a beautiful farewell–that is both solace and joy in the midst of our tears. As so often happens with events of the community, Our Lady already begins to prepare things ahead of time for the greater impact of our hearts. Over the course of the past several months, Our Lady has led us to discover songs that so speak to Andrea’s passing that we will be playing during the services. Our Lady desires every event of our lives to lead us to conversion and we know all those who are able to come with experience conversion as well, which is why we say to all, “Come.” The wake will be Tuesday, April 3, at Caritas. The community, with family and friends, will be in the Field for our normal Apparition Rosary time at 11:00 a.m. and then that evening we will gather together around 4:00 pm to pray, sing, share stories and remembrances of Andrea with music and the liturgical prayers will begin at 6:00 p.m. with our parish priest. This, again, will be at Caritas, with Andrea being here for all those who wish to say their own goodbyes. All are invited to come earlier to join the community in their prayer. The Funeral Mass will be on Wednesday, April 4, at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church at 9:00 a.m. We will return to Caritas following the Mass for Apparition Rosary in the Field, and the burial will take place following the Rosary. Again, all are welcome to attend both the wake and funeral, and for those who are unable to be with us, we know you will be united with us in prayer. The wake on Tuesday, April 3, will be most of the day where community members will be gathered with family and friends to remember and celebrate the gift of Andrea’s life. All are welcome to come earlier in the day to share this day with us and funeral the following day.
For those who would like to send flowers, they should be sent to Caritas of Birmingham, 100 Our Lady Queen of Peace Drive, Sterrett, AL 35147.
We especially wish to thank you for all your prayers and sacrifices. They have been felt by all of us, and continue to give us strength and peace.
In the Love of Our Lady,
On Behalf of the Community of Caritas