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In memory of Charlie Monaghan

FUNERAL MASS OF CHARLIE MONAGHAN

celebrated by Fr. Gerry Powell P.P. in St Patrick and St Colman's Church, Laurencetown

Sunday 30th October 2011

I welcome you to this funeral Mass for Charlie Monaghan.

We all come here to remember a good man, to give thanks, even in our grief, for his long life, to offer each other, and especially all those who will most miss him, the consolation of and our presence with you today; and to offer also the promise of eternal life.

Our consolation will be the happy memories we have of Charlie; our sadness is that he has gone from us.

Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome him home and that one day we will be united together in heaven. In the depth of our loss and hope we now pray and offer this Eucharist for Charlie.

We come to God, knowing we need his mercy and forgiveness, and so in preparing to celebrate the Mass we call to mind our sins.

Lord, you suffered and died in our name. Lord have mercy.

Lord, your heart was moved with compassion for the sick and the bereaved. Christ have mercy.

Lord you suffer with your people at the right hand of the Father. Lord have mercy.

And may almighty God, have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to life everlasting.

Let us pray:

Almighty God and Father of all, you strengthen us by the mystery of the cross and with the sacrament of your Son’s resurrection. We pray for Charlie , grant him peace. Welcome him to the eternal joy of the kingdom and give us all new hope in our sorrow that one day we shall all be with you and with each other in your home where every tear will be wiped away. Grant, this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

HOMILY

                                                             

The Americans call it “Fall”, a word we rarely use is “autumn”, and instead we use the word “harvest”. There is an air of fullness and completion about this time of year or as the poet John Keats described as “a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.

Today we celebrate the funeral mass of Charlie Monaghan in this atmosphere of fruitfulness, fullness and completion” for a job well done. We give thanks for a long life, a life full of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity,faithfulness – the harvest of a life well lived.

Charlie was born in 1923 and raised in the Bann Row, less than a mile from here.

He left school at 14 to help his father in his work at Banford Bleach Works, and went on from there to serve his time as a joiner.

He had a passion for joinery work and building, which led him into the world of contracting.

In his youth he was a keen and talented Irish dancing champion, and at 21 was a founder member of Tullylish GFC.

He loved the area he lived in, and he was very proud of the fact that the Monaghan Family Tree could be traced back in this area to the early 1700s.

He married Mona McGibbon in 1955 and had 3 sons, Paul, Joe and John.

In his life-time he built many prominent buildings including schools and churches, all over Northern Ireland.

In 1973, he was devastated by the untimely death of his wife Mona, and as a result he retired from business to concentrate on his home life.

Charlie had a passion for music, horses and reading.

He had a sharp sense of humour and took great pride in his home and gardens.

Throughout his life he was active in the community, and enjoyed good health for most of his life.

In recent years he became more housebound but enjoyed the comfort of his beloved home right up until Friday morning when he passed away peacefully.

The family have asked me to extend their gratitude to all who cared for Charlie, and in particular to Christine Moore who has touched all their lives with her kindness.

As the clocks go back Charlie moves on to a different season in his journey – eternal life in Christ Jesus. And now in the fullness of his time, Christ has gathered to himself the rich abundant harvest of the long and fruitful life of Charlie.

No matter how long a life is, there is still a great sadness in death, as we bid farewell to a dearly loved father and grandfather, a good parishioner, a cherished friend, a remarkable man. But our faith makes us hopeful today as we look forward to the time when God’s harvesting will be complete and we will all be gathered together with all those we have loved, to be happy forever in the kingdom of God’s eternal love.

I would like to extend our sympathy today to Charlie’s sons Paul, Joe and John; his daughters-in-law Oonagh and Angela; grandchildren Sarah, Eimear, Catherine, Nuala, Dan, Charlie, Emma, Lucy and Rachel and the entire family circle.

 

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