Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Requiescat in Pace (R.I.P.) Grace Perrone, mother of Rev. Eduard Perrone

Grace Perrone with Bishop Sample following the Pontifical Mass at Assumption Grotto
October 2012

It's with great sadness that I write this post to share with you the news that Grace Perrone, the mother of Fr. Eduard Perrone, pastor of Assumption Grotto, has departed this life at 6:35 PM this evening following a massive stroke this morning during the funeral for her brother Frank.  Please pray for the repose of her soul, and for the repose of her brother's soul.  Also keep the family in mind.

I was at the funeral Mass for her brother this morning when she took ill during a beautiful solo of the Ave Maria.  By the time the Angus Dei hit, it was clear something serious was wrong and EMS was called.  Fr. Ludwig happened to be on site and came in the Mass to anoint her as we awaited since Fr. Perrone was in the middle of Mass and unable to stop.  She died this evening surrounded by Fr. Perrone and the rest of the family, several of whom had come in from out of town for today's funeral.

Mrs. Perrone was a secular Carmelite at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Community at Assumption Grotto, where Fr. Perrone, also a secular Carmelite, is chaplain.  There is something very deep about God taking the soul of a Carmelite on this great feast day of St. Teresa of Avila.  Grace was active in the community right to the end.  She persisted in trying to pray the breviary even after her eye sight was failing.

I grew closer to her in the past year since I began driving her to Mass on Sundays, and to the Saturday Carmel meetings. She finally gave up her license around age 90, due to macular degeneration. Grace still cooked for the priests on a regular basis several times weekly and helped out at many functions at the parish, including the Shrine, feast days, and so much more.  We talked about cooking often during our rides, as well as the the old days.  Listening to her talk about the Big Band Era was like listening to my own mother.

Today I was reflecting on the closeness that many of us had to Grace Perrone.  She wasn't just a friend. Many agreed she felt like a second mother.   But it's not so strange that the mother of a Catholic priest became a mother to many.  And now, we entrust her to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother;
to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy hear and answer me.


May she rest in peace.

We will miss you,  Grace.  Thank you for giving us our pastor.

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