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In memory of Sean Fitzpatrick

Funeral Sean Fitzpatrick

I welcome you to this funeral liturgy for Sean Fitzpatrick. Thank you to everyone who have travelled from far and near to be with us today. 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 Sean; 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 Sean.

We are sad today because we are here to mourn Sean and say our final farewells to him as his passing leaves a big gap in his family. So naturally you are grieving at your loss. We are here to support you in your loss. We are here to support you in your sadness by our presence, our prayers and our words of consolation.

God’s best gifts to us are good people. Sean was a gift to you and a blessing to all who loved him. So it is right and fitting that we should give thanks to God for this rich gift, now that Sean’s earthly life is over. This then is a thanksgiving mass for Sean, for his virtues and gifts and for all the good he did during his lifetime.

Sean was born on 23rd June 1949 to Owen and Lily Fitzpatrick. Third in a family of 7, Sean spent his childhood years in the family home on Castle Hill. He attended St. John’s Primary School and St. Patrick’s College before getting his first job in Gilford Mill. He left the Mill and trained as a joiner, a trade he held for the rest of his life – and a first class joiner he was.

He met his wife, Veronica at a dance in the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge and they were married in St. Paul’s Lurgan on 18th September 1971. They set up home in Craigavon where they lived for nine years before moving to their present home in Castleview.

Sean was a family man, through and through. He worked hard all his life and took great pride in his home. He wasn’t a man for hobbies, just his family. When his children moved on with their own families, he took just as much pride in their homes. He was always there for them, always at their ‘beck and call’.

The family would have spent their holidays in Salthill or with Sean’s sister Catherine in Adare. He had first foreign holiday in 2005 when the family travelled to Lanzarote. Sean just preferred to be at home and he loved the peace of the countryside.

It was just four weeks ago that Sean received the dreadful diagnosis that was to take his life so quickly. He bore his illness with dignity and was so pleased and thankful to be at home, surrounded by his wonderful family.

So we give thanks to God for his life and it is with confidence that we pray to the same God to give him eternal rest after all his suffering.

Today then we bid farewell to Sean. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what Sean would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Sean life has changed, not ended. We also derive comfort from the conviction that he is at peace with God after all his suffering.

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 our lives. For you his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Sean throughout his life how much you all loved him and appreciated him. You knew that time was precious in recent times. All that you could have done for him, you did. There are no regrets.

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.

All of us gathered here today we just want to say how sorry we are for your great loss – to Sean’s family, loving wife Veronica, daughters Jacqueline, Shauna, Paula, Mairead, son Aidan, daughter in law Arlene, sons in law Conrad and Robert, grandchildren Tierna, Reese, Ben, Lucy, Orlaith and Jamie, and greatgrandchildren Brea and Ceala and extended family circle. you are all in our prayers and we extend to you our deepest sympathy - May his gentle soul rest in peace.                     




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