Father Thomas Mallon RIP, Archdiocese of Armagh, died on 29 April last in his 68th year of priesthood.
Archbishop Eamon Martin celebrated the Funeral Mass of the late Father Mallon and during his homily spoke of Father Mallon’s example as a ‘Good Shepherd’. Arhcbishop Martin said, “There’s something very fitting about the fact that Father Thomas Mallon died on the eve of vocations Sunday – the day every year when the Church prays for vocations to the priesthood, to the religious life, as well as praying that all baptised people will come to know what God is calling them to do by way of service in the Church. Vocations Sunday is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday because it’s the day we hear that beautiful Gospel description of Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”.
“The Good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep, who does not abandon them in time of danger or attack; The Good Shepherd knows his sheep; and they know him; they listen to his voice and they follow him. Even other sheep, who are not of his fold, come to know the Good Shepherd, so that ultimately there will be only one flock.”
The Archbishop of Armagh continued, “With regard to vocation, Father Mallon had a strong sense that God calls us as we are; we are all unique, with different gifts; God knows us intimately and personally, with all our good points and and sins; the Good Shepherd wants us all to get to know his voice, to listen to that voice, and to follow him. To serve God in whatever way God is calling us, that is the most important thing in our lives.”
In conclusion, Archbishop Martin said, “I am so grateful that thanks to the attention of Fr Mallon’s extended family and so many good people here in this parish who surrounded him with love and support, that he was able to die a holy death with the comfort of the sacraments, the love and affection of family, the comforting and encouraging presence of friends. The words of Saint Paul’s letter to Timothy in today’s second reading come to mind, I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race I have kept the faith. What more could anyone want than that?”