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In memory of Mary Ferris

Funeral Mary Ferris Medium Web view

Funeral of Mary Ferris

Celebrant Very Reverend Gerry Powell P.P.

We gather here today in sadness with the family of Mary Ferris. 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 Mary and to pray in faith that he will welcome her to everlasting happiness in heaven.

There is as the Scriptures remind us, a time for every season under heaven. As we gather here we reflect on the mystery of time and providence that are in God’s hands: there is indeed a time to die, a time to weep, a time to mourn, a time to keep silence, a time to speak, a time to love.

You have shared memories of who she was and what she meant to you. We mourn her passing; we cherish her memory.

Mary was born on 3rd July 1928 and, as an only child, was adored by her parents Tommy and Annie Haddock. She lived in the same house all her life and was known as ‘the nicest girl in Bleary’. She attended Lylo Primary School before going to work in Gilford Mill as a weaver. She met her husband Jim at a dance and they were married in the Clare on 14th October 1946. The wedding should have been in July but Mary had to have her appendix removed so the wedding was postponed!

Mary was always at home. When at school, her daughters were shocked to find this wasn’t always the case with other girls, who had ‘their own door keys to let themselves in’. In all the years, Mary was always at home!

Bringing up 11 children would not have been easy and took a lot of courage, but the only thing Mary was afraid of was the thunder and lightning. She would have been found hiding behind the door before drenching the children with holy water!

Sugar Island Road must have been a hive of activity in those days with the number of children between the four cottages amounting to 42!

The Clare Chapel was her place of worship and she would have come on the bus with the family on a Sunday, or sometimes to the early Mass in Lurgan with Jay Haddock.

The death of her husband Jim in 2004 came as a dreadful shock to Mary and her health took a downward turn. For the past eight years in particular, she had been very unwell and then six months ago, the end was in sight.

Above all you have remembered the humanity of a good person. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Mary, 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 you.

Mary was totally devoted to her husband Jim and her eleven – she was a rock.

God knows the reality of failing health – which she endured throughout her time of illness. 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 Mary was a lover of family, people and life itself. Thank you to all who cared for her and loved her in life especially in her final years. Now her suffering is over. As Mary has died now a part of you dies as well. You are filled with sorrow because her death leaves a gap that no-one else can fill adequately. A mother’s love is a great blessing. When we remember her today we cannot help recalling the things she said and the way she said them, the things she did and her way of doing them but sadness is tinged with hope and expectation. 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. It is only with death that life really makes sense, it’s our leap into eternity, it is God calling us home to be with him forever. At a time like this we come face to face with our own mortality.

Living a truly Catholic life is about waiting in hope and as people of hope we believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Mary’s period of waiting is now over. No one can say she got life easy. All those years of worry, suffering and sorrow and rearing a very large family when times were hard have made of her life a pilgrimage of pain - a journey from birth to death and the reason she could see purpose in the pain or sense in the suffering was because Jesus Christ came on this earth to conquer death and save us from our sins. She brought love, care and friendship to those who knew her. Always faithful to her Church, prayer and fidelity to the mass and the sacraments were second nature to her. She died on Sunday morning after her strength could no longer meet the challenge of life. With the entire parish community, I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to Tommy, Anne, Austin, Veronica, Patsy, Mena, Bernadette, Jean, Reggie and Michelle, sons and daughters in law, sister and brother in law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and entire family circle.

 

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