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In memory of Francie McEvoy

 

Funeral_Francie_McEvoy



Funeral Mass celebrated by Very Reverend Gerry Powell P.P.

With Gwendoline and the family I welcome you to this funeral Mass for Francie Mc Evoy. Thank you for coming especially all of you who have travelled a great distance to be with us.
We all come here to remember a good man, to give thanks, even in our grief, for his life, to offer each other, and especially all those who will most miss him, the consolation of our love 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 Francie; 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 Francie.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 Francie, 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 future belongs to those who know how to wait.  At Christmas time we waited for birth, for love, for life itself to reveal its meaning and purpose. As Christians we must wait with hope and love for Christ who comes to us. As people of hope we believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Today we feel the sadness of death. It seems death is totally out of place at the beginning of a new year. We have come to share the sorrow of Francie’s family.

Francie’s period of waiting is now over. He departed this life on Tuesday morning. There is nothing in the world like death. When we observe the change of the seasons and how nature dies, we say death is natural. Death is totally strange. In one moment a beloved voice, familiar gestures and individual presence stop. The most haunted moment during grief is when we realize that we will never see that person again; it lets no one return. But our Christian faith offers us something entirely different.                                  

The number of years we live is not the measure of our greatness or holiness or wisdom. But who knows the mind of God? So today we want to give thanks and to celebrate Francie’s life. We cherish his memory. Our sure hope is that the Lord Our God will welcome him home and that one day we will be united in heaven. In the depth of our loss we will pray and give thanks to God for Francie. May all his goodness and kindness gather around him to bring him safely home. May his gentle soul rest in peace!

The death of Francie is an opportunity to express thanks to God for a life of generosity and dedication, for service to the local community and family. His variety of talents and temperaments hints at the richer joys of the kingdom of heaven. We are pilgrims on a journey, wayfarers, looking ahead. The marvelous variety of people accompanying us on our pilgrimage through life offers insights into the nature of God, creator of all, Father of love and mercy. Francie gave us such a glimpse. We all belong to the Lord through Baptism. He is our origin, our goal, our destiny.
Francie was born 76 years ago on the 23rd August 1935, son of William and Brigid – the youngest of 8 children. Went to school in Laurencetown and later Ballyvarley.  In his younger days he loved going to dances and he took the girls home on the handlebars of his bike and then on purpose he would ride into the shuck and heel them off. And then he met Gwendoline his wife and later married for 46 years. He pulled her by the hood when she was a wee girl to stop her from running on the road.  They had 7 children, 2 died very young – 4 boys and 3 girls. When they first married they lived with his parents in Ballyvarley but they later moved to Laurencetown and lived on the Point Road for 40 years but his heart always stayed in Ballyvarley and we bring him home today.
He started working for Wrights of Banbridge when he was 14 and trained as a plumber and stayed there for 40 years until it closed after which he was self employed and he never stopped. He had the car packed to go last Saturday morning when he took ill.

He worked around the country doing jobs, drinking tea and enjoying the craic. He would often have his dinner out on a job and not let on and come home to another dinner.  Francie at home was always called “Me Da”. He was devoted to his family and his faith. His passions were football, work, cards and eating. He was a Pioneer for over 60 years. He loved his hens and cats – always whistling and singing – they recognized his voice. When hungry and his dinner not on the table he would rattle and bang the cutlery on the table. He loved his garden and grew lots of vegetables. In the last 10 years he lived for his trips away to visit his sons in America, Dubai and Australia and a few cruises with his daughters and grandchildren. His advice was “always look after your family”.

Above all we are remembering a good man with a wide circle of friends. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Francie, a burden of pain, a burden of loss, a burden of grief weighs heavily on you all. We gather as a community - our presence here today is our way of reaching out to those whose burden is heaviest and whose loss is greatest.

Today we shed tears for Francie but our tears have a healing effect. Today we no longer cling on but let him go to be with the Lord.                                   

But if we are sad today, there is also much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the life he did have, grateful for all the joy he brought into your lives and we acknowledge his service and generosity to the parish, because he never sent a bill for plumbing work done!! For you his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Francie how much you all loved him and appreciated him.

It is only to God we can turn at this time to try to find some meaning, some consolation; some hope in the situation we find ourselves in. Prayer will bring us through this time. It’s not going to be easy. Nobody said so. But with God’s help, you will meet this cross.

It was Francie’s personality, his warm-hearted character that drew such a deep and open response from those who knew him. Francie was loved by all. He was a generous and caring person; he was a loving father and grandfather, so attentive to you all.  He will be sadly missed.

In our sadness and grief, in the midst of things we cannot understand or explain, let us commit Francie and ourselves to God's never failing love and care, knowing that he will give us strength and courage to face the days ahead, just as he gives Francie new life in his heavenly kingdom. Amen.

On behalf of Fr Crossan I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to Gwendoline, his daughters Una and Rosemary, sons Dessie, Billie and Adrian, grandchildren, sister Kathleen, daughters in law, nephews and nieces and the entire family circle.



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