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Celebrating Mass With Hugo

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Celebrating Mass With Hugo

The following story was written by hospice volunteer, Ted powers. 

The date was Sunday October 4, 2009. I arrived at hospice’s chapel a little after 9:00 am as this was to be the first mass celebrated by Fr. Don Adamski.  There was no altar so a folding table, along with improvised old alter linens, upon which candles and other accessories were laid.  I was to provide the music for the mass, and Gilbert Perez, a member of the Board of Directors, was here to sing with me.  One hospice patient, Hugo, diagnosed with terminal ALS, was anxiously awaiting the first opportunity to attend mass in a long while.  I went to Hugo’s room, to tell him all was ready, and that he and his wife could come to the chapel.  Hugo had one of the most advanced wheelchairs I had ever seen.  It is hard to express how excited and determined Hugo was to attend this ancient tradition.  His face told it all.  His expressions told me that Hugo could move the wheelchair by sheer willpower.  I had the pleasure of singing for the mass and enjoying Hugo’s attendance at the weekly tradition for a good while until Hugo’s death.  I also had the honor of singing at Hugo’s  funeral mass at San Albino in Mesilla, New Mexico.  This spiritual experience of vicariously enjoying Hugo’s joy of attendance, prompted me to become a regular hospice volunteer for 6+ years now.  It remains one my most memorable experiences during my volunteer career time at hospice. 

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