St. Anthony Catholic Church
Davenport, Iowa
Weekly Email Newsletter
Dennis's Days are Numbered, but Purposeful
by John Cooper
Pictured above with Dennis are his friends Derek McSherry and Joe Coleiro. The little joker in the background is grandson Roman.
In the video above, Kim Notsker is singing one of Dennis's favorite songs - I'll Walk with God. It will be part of his funeral Mass.
As we enter this world, we are at the same time heading on our way out! For some of us, tragically that heading out can be in a matter of minutes. For others, like my 104-year old grandmother, it can last a very long time. For parishioner Dennis Xuereb, his days are numbered, but purposeful. If you didn't read the February 1 article on Dennis, click here .

Dennis has chosen to live his end of life in the way he’s lived the last 75 years. Pastor Rick Warren wrote the wildly popular book The Purpose Driven Life . Dennis has lived a purpose driven life and these months since his terminal diagnosis have been no different. 

The other day at Mass, I saw Dennis seated with two gentlemen. I emailed him and said, “I'm going to guess the guys you were sitting with at Mass were A) physicians, B) soccer buddies, or C) fraternity brothers.” He responded, “The two gentlemen you saw at church were, of course visiting. Derek McSherry lives in Wisconsin and we were expecting him. The other is Joe Coleiro, a friend of long standing having been at medical school with me. He lives in Dundee, Scotland and is a retired ophthalmologist. Since the guy from Wisconsin is of Scottish background, I introduced them to each other and they hit it off nicely. They decided to spring a surprise on me and the chap from Scotland was picked up at O’Hare by the other and they proceeded to Bettendorf. They stayed two days (at a hotel) and we spent most of the visit together. I loved it, even though I was left totally exhausted.”

Dennis has not only been intentional with spending quality time with family and friends, he’s been planning out his funeral. Every song for his funeral Mass has been carefully selected. Since Dennis is so much into music (collector of over 300 vinyl record albums), Kim Notsker, our music director had the idea to have a special rehearsal of his music with him present. Click on the short video song clip above.

As a founding member and still co-facilitator of the Grief group here at St. Anthony’s, we decided to invite past and current members to the rehearsal. Prior to the music rehearsal, we gathered in the Parish Center and those attending were able to share thoughts and feelings about Dennis. It was a kind of eulogy before the eulogy. I was deeply moved by the expressions of how much Dennis helped so many with their grief.

It’s almost like all those years of dealing with death and grief as a doctor prepared him to do some of his most important work with the Grief group. One former Grief group member, Mindy Keller shared this...   

Picture more than 30 Stewards of St. Anthony's Performing Ministries of Cleaning, Landscaping, Maintenance, and Hospitality this Past Week
Repairing a Leaking Door Threshold
Repairing McAnthony Window Benches and Tables
Fixing Broken Window
Working on the Front Door
Using Basic Training Skills from His Military Days
Cleaning and Praying on Her Knees
Hope You Don't Slide Off those Newly Polished Pews!
3 Generations Volunteer
Cleaning up Where All the Trash and Debris Find a Home in Our Parking Lot
She's excited about a Landscaping Date with Her Hubbie
Teaming up on a bush that had a really, really Bad Winter
Women Keeping the Men Hopping in Church
Funeral Luncheons are an Outward Sign of Our Sympathy

Pictured here are some of the women who ministered to the Jacobsen family this week through the gift of hospitality!
Breaking Out Their Guitar Music at the Monday 12:05 Mass
If you've been to Father Brian's 12:05 weekday Mass, you know he likes to sing a song. Recently, his longtime friend and fellow musician Chuck Easton has been Lectoring and altar serving. The two decided to "break out" their guitars. Don't worry, its still free to come to cover charge to hear them! Click on the video above to hear them play.
Fill a Box at Easter for Those in Need

We will once again be collecting boxes at Easter for those in need. We're looking for the following type items to give out at McAnthony Window: toiletries, spring/summer clothes for men, women, children, especially blue jeans, underwear, socks, shirts, rain ponchos, sleeping bags, peanut butter, canned food (pull off tops), fruit cups, ready-to-eat food, small packages of baby wipes, feminine items, detergent, and lightly worn shoes. Boxes and a complete list of things we are looking for will be at the entrances to church this week. Pick up a box, fill it, and return it to the parish center by Easter Sunday. Thank you!