‘Faith Bucket List’ suggested

WARREN — Having a “Faith Bucket List” in place helps a person reflect on his or her life, forgive oneself, harbor no life regrets and come to an understanding of acceptance while preparing for death.

That was the message shared by Sister Kathleen McCarragher, director of religious education at St. Rose Parish in Girard, in a talk to the Adult Religious Education Committee at St. John Paul II Parish in Warren.

”We are all going to pass away. There are things you can do to get things in order and be ready,” said McCarragher, who became involved with religious education and entered the Ursuline Sisters in the 1970s.

McCarragher said so many people will leave things for loved ones after they die. She suggests writing down what you want to leave for people and giving some things to others now while you are alive.

”I tell people to get rid of things they don’t want anymore or don’t want to see,” she said.

McCarragher said she is not only speaking to older people or seriously ill people, but anyone can plan for their funeral, such as writing their own obituary or making plans for what outfit to be buried in.

”Let people know what you want. Make it easier for them. Tell them what you want them to know if you will never see them again,” she said.

McCarragher said the Ursuline Sisters have a ”funeral box” and put information of what they want others to know.

”I tell people to plan their funeral and write down what you want in your funeral box,” she said.

McCarragher said while a person is alive, ”reflect on your life and what you did as a person. Forgive yourself and come to an understanding of acceptance.

”When someone hears someone is dying, they make the pilgrimage to see them. You as the person who is dying can say, ‘I am not up to a visit,’ and handle it by a phone call,” she said.

She said her father in his late 80s is very active and noted many retired people stay busy.

”I tell people to enjoy yourself and make lists of what you want to do, such as write poetry. Pray and appreciate each moment and what is here and now. If you have resentment in your life or regrets, let it go.” McCarragher said.

The Rev. Christopher Henyk, pastor of the church, said many people have a list of things they want to do before they die.

”I tell people to know what you want to do,” Henyk said.

Henyk said people focus on the things that matter and have a good attitude.

McCarragher said if people have regrets, try to make time to do things you want, if possible.

She said suggestions on how to die were adapted from the book ”You Can’t Afford the Luxury of Negative Thoughts: A Book for People With Any Life-Threatening Illness,” by Peter Williams.

The book advises to get things in order, make a will, say goodbye, enjoy yourself, relax, pray, enjoy each moment and ”when it’s time to go, go.”