A life lived and a request for prayers

In December, while I was leaving NYC, I asked you to pray for MaryAnn Hassan, mother of 8, battling cancer for many years. At that time I wrote:

I ran into [MaryAnn’s] husband at the rectory before I left for the airport. He told me about their latest challenges… and triumphs. I am deeply impressed with their faith. They’ve fought cancer and asked God for just one more year so that all their children could know their mother.

Tonight I received a note from her husband:

It was so very, very nice to see you at Fr. Murray’s several weeks ago. I am writing to you to let you know, my beloved MaryAnn passed away today.

God bless you, thank you for your prayers and kindness during our encounters over the years in NY at ___ rectories.

She received the Sacraments: Confession with in the last week, anointing, Eucharist (Viaticum), and Apostolic Pardon.

So I believe she had a happy death. She was in her own bed, she was at home, the family was here, all the kids. She simply stopped breathing, and was gone at 12:20 pm.

I hope I was worthy of her and that I served her well.

God Bless you, and again thanks,

To which I responded:

Oh my! Matthew, accept my simultaneous condolences and congratulations. As MaryAnn’s husband you fulfilled your vocation of helping her to heaven. With the suffering and the sacraments, I am confident in her present bliss.

That said, I will not fail to pray for you all.

Blessings and best,

Fr. Z

Dear readers who are married…

Your vocation is to help your spouse get to heaven, and by doing so, get to heaven yourself.

You and your better half shall die one day, perhaps easily, perhaps with difficulties. You are in it for the good and for the bad, with the promise of the Kingdom of God.

Love God even more than you love your spouse so that you can love your spouse rightly and so that you can live with sacrificial love, always seeking the good of the other.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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8 Responses to A life lived and a request for prayers

  1. JCF says:

    Father Z, thank you for the great advice for all of us married Catholics. I will keep the Hassan family in my prayers.

  2. acardnal says:

    I am very sorry to hear this. I used to see the Hassans occasionally a Masses in northern Virginia when I lived there. As I recall, Maryann even gave speeches in the region at home-schooling conferences if I remember correctly. I will remember the Hassans in my prayers.

  3. Liz says:

    I’m sorry for their pain. I pray that Our Lord welcomed her into His loving arms and for the family. I can’t imagine what they are going through, but I know that God is so good in all of this. May God reward them in their suffering.

  4. joan ellen says:

    Will include the Hassan family in my Rosary this evening. My mother received the Apostolic Pardon. It is a great confort to me even after 18 years since her death.

  5. steve51b31 says:

    We are teaching the Sacrament of Matrimony in RCIA this weekend. I hope to find a way to include this example in the lesson, truth that it is !!

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    God rest her soul, and may He comfort her family and friends.

  7. ReginaMarie says:

    acardnal: I believe you may be thinking of Mary Hasson, whom I’ve also heard speak at Catholic homeschooling conferences. This is a different MaryAnn Hassan (also a Catholic homeschooling mother).

    Matt Hassan is a childhood friend of mine & I cannot begin to express the heartbreak so many of us feel over the loss of MaryAnn. Please, I beg all readers to keep Matt & their 8 beautiful children in your prayers! Matt & MaryAnn’s love for each other, faith in God, & trust in His will have been an incredible example & inspiration to so many of us over these past 7 years! Blessed repose & eternal memory for the handmaid of God, +MaryAnn!

  8. Pingback: Marriage: A Sacrament of Service | Musings of a Michigan-Man