I thought I was mostly done with my Catholic firsts after my first Catholic wedding this summer. But, I forgot about funerals. Today I experienced that.
My campus minister passed away last weekend. I worked with him for a year as a peer minister as a senior. As sad it was, it was beautiful. There’s something about the Catholic liturgy and Eucharist that make even a time of deep sorrow into one full of hope and even joy. It was touching to see how many lives he had been a part of. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. There was a sense of peace as I stood among my fellow peer ministers, both past and present, as we mourned the loss of a beloved friend, knowing that we were there to support each other with our presence. It was bitter-sweet to hear one of his sons share stories of his father and to hear in them parts of this man that we all knew and loved dearly. It felt like what I imagine the Church is supposed to be, a community that comes together both in times of sadness and of joy, with Christ always at the center.
The world lost a wonderful man last Saturday. A man who knew what it meant to be a friend of Jesus. A man who took the time to get to know the story of everyone he met. A man who served others and the Church with his time and amazing cooking. He made sure that us broke college kids had a homemade meal every now and then. Let me tell you, he made the best chili (sorry, mom). He was a man who loved the peers as his own children. A man who trusted the Lord, even when things were not going well according to worldly standards, amidst pain, suffering, and illness. He was a man who never lost hope and ran the race to the end. Please join me in praying for him and his family.