A boy in Kenny's kindergarten class lost his grandmother to cancer over the weekend. The prognosis on the terminal illness was "months" but she died within a week. The boy's mother informed me of the news via email with an undisclosed distribution list. I told parents of other classmates at the usual weekend play dates and birthday parties.
One mother was a little frustrated that she hadn't been told sooner, even by her child's teacher. It just happened, perhaps the teacher didn't know. The mother recalled to me that the science teacher for the middle school died during the winter break, and parents learned of it only as school resumed in January. Apparently, because her daughter attended the school's summer camp, she had enjoyed a relationship with the middle school science teacher and was sad about her death. The woman told me that upon hearing the news, she obtained a mass card on behalf of the science teacher and dropped it off at the school.
I haven't any idea what a mass card is. I should have asked her to explain. On retreat, the house director announces that after meals, the front office will be open for five or ten minutes so that retreatants can obtain mass cards or inform the staff of any maintenance problems - light bulb out, leaky tap, whatever.
I made up some peanut butter cookies and gave them to Kenny's mourning classmate. During the general intercessions or prayer of the faithful at Sunday liturgy, I requested peace for the grandmother and the family. If I had any idea about mass cards, I would get one for my father.