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In Memory of Kathleen McAteer

 

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

Opening Hymn: Cead Mile Failte

Homily

A sad occasion like this today is an occasion to reminisce and to allow the mind to linger on moments from the past. Memories flood back of childhood experiences of being cared for, encouraged and loved.  This is a time when gratitude for a loving mother wells up in the heart for a “job well done”. It is a time of awakening to an appreciation of the gifts and blessings received. It is only in hindsight that the gift becomes clear. Life is lived going forwards but understood looking backwards.

 

We gather here today in sadness with the family of Kathleen. Our thoughts are for you. We ask God to send his Consoler to bring his peace to your hearts and to your homes. We give thanks to God for the life that he gave Kathleen and pray in faith that he will welcome her home to everlasting happiness in heaven.
Holding a vigil for Kathleen in hospital and their home before she died her family have shared memories of who she was and what she meant to them. We mourn her passing, we cherish her memory. Above all you have remembered the humanity of a good person. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Kathleen. A burden of pain, burden of loss, burden of grief weighs heavily on you all. Kathleen was totally devoted to her husband Hugh and family.  
Kathleen’s life journey commenced on the 26th June some years ago! She was christened Mary Catherine, the eldest child to Johnny and Sarah Campbell. She had five younger siblings to follow; Sean, the late Art, Sally, Plunkett and Eamon.
Kathleen often shared her memories of childhood experiences gathering blackberries and collecting buttermilk at Cluxons, Blue Road. Growing up in those times was, of course tough, but Kathleen always looked back fondly, carrying her experiences with her through life. Europe in the 1940’s was a different place with the war and Kathleen often spoke to her children and grandchildren about rationing, the blackout and smuggling items of clothing from Dublin across the border, and perhaps some people getting caught!!!!
 However, in the late 1940’s, things began to improve and Kathleen was now the captain of the Armagh Camogie team, travelling to Manchester and London with a few others from Laurencetown and Gilford to compete. 
She loved to attend the ceili’s at St. John’s Bosco Hall, Laurencetown and also the ceili’s at Glenavy where she made many lifetime friends.  
Holidays to Lurgan, Francis St were a regular occurrence and if she was lucky, a trip to Carlingford.
Kathleen’s  life changed forever in 1956, when she met the love of her life Hugh McAteer. He walked through the doors of Gaffneys Chemist, in Gilford where Kathleen worked for many years, and it was love at first sight. Two years later on the 17th June 1958, Hugh and Kathleen married in this church and Jim Burns sang at the wedding and is singing here today. Hugh introduced Kathleen to his home and family in Fanad, Co. Donegal, a place which became very dear to Kathleen’s heart.
 They settled in Woodlands, Gilford and became proud parents of Marian, Annette and Sean. Kathleen later worked alongside her husband Hugh at Bannvale Special Care Hospital. Following Hugh’s retirement they relocated closer to Kathleen’s home village here in Laurencetown in 1997, where they enjoyed many more happy years together.
 Kathleen was a proud grandmother to 10 grandchildren.
Laura, Katherine, Andrew, Aisling, James, Maria, Jane, Conor, Olivia and Matthew. She was kept busy and loved to see her grandchildren call. 
 Both Hugh and Kathleen remained fervent supporters of the S.M.A. Fathers in Dromantine supporting the missions overseas.
Last August, Kathleen experienced a huge loss when Hugh, the man she shared her life with, passed away. With tremendous inner strength, and support from her family, she began to adjust and looked forward to her regular outings and visits from her friends and family.
 Kathleen introduced herself again to knitting recently, and has been helping the TLC Group, knitting blankets for Sister Bernadette in Africa. She took great pride in this hobby, as she was helping others.
Kathleen returned to her beloved Donegal and her most recent trip was on 28th June of this year, spent in Gweedore (Gaoibh Dohhair). This resulted in the Donegal economy rising and a lighter purse for Kathleen on her return as she bought many presents for herself, friends and family. She was looking forward to her next trip to Fanad, on the 8th of July, and said ‘if God spares me’…
 Kathleen remained very active and in good health up until two weeks ago, when she was admitted to hospital with a sudden illness.
Kathleen will be dearly missed by her family and friends, near and far.
 We remember a lovely person, a lady who was a treasure to you all. Letting go of her today is not going to be easy for Kathleen was a great lover of family, people and life itself. Thank you to all who cared for her and loved her in life. Now her suffering is over. As Kathleen has died now a part of you dies as well. We pray that she is with the Lord and we look forward to the day when we will be reunited with her. Christ’s resurrection assures us that if we follow him we will rise again. May her gentle soul rest in pea



Prayer of the Faithful
Priest: Humbled and moved by the compassion of God who makes the sun shine and the rain fall on the rich and poor alike, we come in faith and gratitude to make our petitions.

Response:                        Lord, graciously hear us.    
              Katherine

1 That the members of Christ’s church throughout the world may be conscious of the  needs of the people around them, especially those who suffer in their midst. We  remember especially the S.M.A. Fathers in Dromantine

who devote their lives to the  care of the Missionary Church.   Lord, hear us.

  Aisling

2 .We remember all who mourn for Kathleen her children - Marian, Annette and Sean, her grandchildren, her brothers and sister and all who knew and loved her. Lord, hear us

  Conor

 

3.  Lord, hear our prayer for neighbours who in good times shared our joy and laughter and in times of trouble and sorrow shared our pain and grief. Lord, hear us.

 

 Anne
4. That those in the caring profession - doctors, nurses, ambulance personnel and home care teams may carry out their work with Christ-like compassion and bring comfort and meaning   to broken lives. We remember especially the doctors and staff of Gilford Health Centre and   the Intensive Care Unit, Craigavon Hospital. Lord, hear us.

  Máire

5. We remember those who have died, especially Kathleen’s husband Hugh, her parents  Johnny and Sarah and her brother Art. We also remember those who have no-one to pray for  them. Lord, hear us.

 

Priest: Heavenly Father, accept our prayers and send your Holy Spirit to speak to us in and through the experience of our daily lives. As we struggle on the road to your kingdom, may we see our work as an extension of Christ’s love to the world. We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Offertory Procession:   The gifts are now brought to the altar by Gary and Jane

Offertory Hymn:     Ag Crióst an Siól

Communion Hymn:     I watch the sunrise          

Communion Reflection:  Sean will read a reflection while Danny Boy is played.   

 

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Final Hymn:      Bring Flowers of the Rarest.

 

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