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In memory of Brendan Conlon

Celebrant - Very Reverend Gerry Powell P.P.

Brendan Conlon R.I.P.
 Brendan Conlon was born in the year of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932 
and he died peacefully in the year of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin 2012.
Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.  No one comes to the Father, except through me.  
He also says,

"Look, I am standing at the door and knocking. 
If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I'll come in and we'll eat together."
(Revelation 3:20)
As we gather this day to celebrate Brendan's life and to remember his faith, 
we are also called to remember that as Brendan is now, so one day we also shall be.
One day each one of us shall stand before God.  
Some will stand alone before the judgment throne of God,
because they have always relied on themselves and they have faith that this is enough. 
Others will not stand alone for they have asked Jesus Christ to stand with them and for them.
Without Christ, there is only fear.  With Christ Jesus, there is no fear.

With faith all our suffering now takes on a new light, not only did Jesus take it all on himself, but if we unite our suffering to Jesus we help bring about the salvation of the world. Suffering is not meaningless anymore; if we unite it to Jesus’ suffering it can do great good. Brendan suffered a lot in recent years. Being a man of great faith, I’m sure he united it to Jesus’ suffering and so has played a part in saving us all.

Brendan was the oldest in a family of 11 and they lived in Castlehill, Gilford. He could turn his hand to any trade – he worked in Gilford mill from the age of 15; on the railway’ at roofing where he made many life-long friends. He also drove taxis and taxied the Pioneer Show band for his uncle Frank.

Brendan’s love of football once got him into trouble as he was caught drivingv while still wearing his football boots! He was fined for being ‘inappropriately dressed’.

Brendan met and married his wife Braid in 1955 and they went on to have 9 children, Theresa, Helen, Kay, Patricia, Brendan, Dominic, Mary, Brian and Bernadette. He lose his beloved wife in 1998 and continued to live with his daughter and family in Dunbarton Bungalows, where he had lived all his married life.

He was a devoted family man who was very much loved and respected by his family, including his brothers and sisters. He had 24 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

Brendan was a very well liked and respected member of the community

It was over three and a half years ago that Brendan became ill and was no longer able to look after his beloved greyhounds.

A man devoted to his faith, Brendan held strong religious beliefs until his passing.

What a great gift our faith is. How lucky a person is to have a strong faith. How lucky Brendan was to have had a strong faith. It was because of his strong faith that he bore his suffering with dignity.  In his suffering he still hoped and trusted in God, he did not give up. His only concern was for all of you. As our second reading said today: “The time of my departure has come; I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith.”

Our Lord will lift you up so you may continue on your earthly pilgrimage, knowing that we are bound together with all those we love, and all those, living and dead, who call Jesus Christ their risen Lord. It reminds us that we will one day be with Brendan and all those we love who have left this life and now dwell with our Lord in his heavenly kingdom.

In our sadness and grief, in the midst of things we cannot understand or explain, let us commit Brendan 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 Brendan new life in his heavenly kingdom. Amen.

We extend our sincere sympathy today to Brendan’s sons and daughters Dominic and Brian, to Teresa, Helen, Kay, Patricia, Brenda, Mary and Bernadette; Brothers Leo, Michael, Joe, Art and Noel and Sisters Ellen, Catherine, Sally and Ann, his sons and daughters in law, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Entrance Hymn:          Here I am Lord



First Reading

A Reading from the book of Ecclesiastes                    3:1-8.11

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die;

a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted 

a time to break down and a time to build up;

a time to weep and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together;

a time to seek and a time to lose;

a time to keep and a time to throw away;

a time to tear and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence and a time to speak;

a time for war and a time for peace.

God has made everything suitable for its time.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God

Psalm:    Be not afraid (Sung)

(As death approaches, Paul reflects on his life; he is happy about the past and hopeful for the future.) 
 A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to Timothy. 2  c:6-8

As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

The word of the Lord.               Thanks be to God

Gospel Acclamation (Sung)

Alleluia, alleluia.

I am the resurrection and the life,

says the Lord,

whoever believes in me will never die. Alleluia.

Gospel                   Homily

Prayer of the Faithful

Priest:      God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. Therefore, let us pray to him with confidence.

Response:                       Lord, graciously hear us.

1. We pray for Brendan who was loved by so many for the special person he was.   Lord, hear us.

2. Now that Brendan’s suffering is over, may we let him go with love and trust into the hands of God.  Lord, hear us.

3. That God may reward all those who cared for Brendan in his sickness, especially the doctors and nurses of Gilford Health Centre, his family and friends. Lord, hear us.

4. May God comfort and console all those who mourn Brendan, especially his children Teresa, Helen, Kay, Patricia, Brenda, Dominic, Mary, Brian and Bernadette, his much loved brothers and sisters, his grandchildren and great-grand children. Lord give them strength and healing in the days ahead.    Lord, hear us.

5. We pray for our departed relatives and friends. We remember especially Brendan’s wife Braid, his sister Mary and his parents Barney and Ellen. May they now experience the loving mercy of God. Lord, hear us.

6. Let us pray for our own special needs and intentions…..pause…   Lord, hear us

Priest: Lord, may you support us all day long, till the shadows lengthen and evening falls, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done; then in your mercy, Lord, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at last. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen


Offertory Procession The gifts are now brought to the altar.

Offertory Hymn: Gifts of Bread and Wine

Communion Hymn: I watch the sunrise

Communion Reflection:  The Old Rugged Cross

The Legacy (spoken)


Recessional Hymn:      Our Lady of Knock


Our brother Brendan, known as Big Fella', was big in stature, strong in character with a kind and loving heart.

We all grew up in Castle Hill and have many fond memories of our childhood, playing handball on Finley's gable wall, playing in the brickyard and kicking football in Lizzie's field.

In his teenage years, Brendan was a keen footballer, playing for Gilford Geraldines and Granville Celtic. His love for sport didn't end there - he also had an interest in pigeon racing, waiting on big race days for his brothers' pigeons to come home.

However, his greatest sporting achievement was being a devoted greyhound trainer and owner, being found on many race nights with his friend Peter and his brothers at either Dungannon or Dundalk, trying to beat the bookies.

Our brother's love for greyhounds also included the great love he had for his beloved children, naming many of his dogs after them - 'Dominic's Fun' and 'Brian's Darling' to name but a few.

There are too many menories for me to recall today but they will always remain very alive within our hearts and in our minds.

Everyone should have a brother like our big brother Brendan.

Gone, but not forgotten.




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