The funeral Mass for the late Hawe Family RIP, was celebrated in Saint Mary’s Church, in the parish of Castlerahan and Munterconnaught, in the Diocese of Kilmore. Father Felim Kelly CC, will be the chief celebrant at the Mass which was attended by family, friends and by the local parish community. Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore, concelebrate the Mass and presided at the Final Commendation.
In his homily Father Kelly said, “I would invite you to come with me as I called to see Alan and Clodagh and Liam, Niall and Ryan on a Christmas morning a couple of years ago. Christmas is about family, is centred on children and is about giving and receiving. I know I was calling to see close friends and knew the welcome, Clodagh with her scones, red jam and mug of coffee, Liam, Niall and Ryan busily like budding engineers building all kinds of Lego. More importantly they invited the old man and indeed showed him how to go about some intricate structures. Alan standing with his back to the kitchen sink totally at ease enjoying the bean an tí and the antics of unspoiled and respectful sons. Though it must be said Ryan the youngest had the eyes of a rogue and a beguiling manner. That is my abiding memory of a family at Christmas.”
Father Kelly went on to say, “I invite you also to join me here in St. Mary’s Church on any Sunday morning as the community gathered to greet the Lord and greet one another. Alan and Clodagh with their children most times together in their seat. But each in their turn carrying out their ministries, Alan and Clodagh as readers of God’s Word, Liam likewise, also an Altar Server and a member of both choirs, junior and senior, Niall, Altar Server and soloist with the children’s’ choir, Ryan having progressed to the junior choir. With typical bravado announced “I’d be able for that”, that being a duet at the tender age of five with his buddy Lisa. The family met Jesus in the Word, in song and in the breaking of the Bread, an encounter that enriched their very special qualities as individuals and as a family, week in and week out. This will be part of my abiding memory also.
“The family played an amazing part in the life of their schools as teachers, held in the highest regard by colleagues, parents and children, respectful of all in their care and so co-operative in every possible way. The children, gifted pupils, team players, budding leaders, warm friends. What a loss!
“Likewise in the community. Organisations and individuals benefitted from so much generous sharing with true family and Christian values the motive and inspiration.”
Concluding his homily Father Kelly said, “There is a dark side too. How so much goodness could be destroyed? How such happiness could be invaded? How? Why? It is not for us to seek answers or to surmise about behaviour. We all are trying to cope with a tragedy beyond our understanding. With Christ on the Cross we too may cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken so many who cared so much.” The Easter Candle quietly assures us “He is Risen.” The Baptismal Font and its life giving water symbolising God’s gifts proclaims our dignity as the children of God on our way and the destiny of seeing God as he really is. Clodagh, Alan, Liam, Niall and Ryan are at peace. This is what faith tells us. This is the assurance of hope. It is the response of love.”
Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore offered the prayers of Commendation and Farewell and said, “Father Felim Kelly has spoken movingly and eloquently in his homily about this beautiful family who have been taken from us so tragically. He has offered words of hope and consolation where there is at present only profound loss and grief and darkness. On your behalf I thank Father Kelly and all involved in this very moving funeral Mass.”
Bishop O’Reilly continued, “In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we put our faith in the infinite love of God, and we commend Alan, Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan to God’s warm embrace. When we ask ourselves how could God look on while this was happening, we remember that God doesn’t look from a distance at human suffering and death. God is there in the middle of it, suffering it with us, as he was there in the death of Jesus on Calvary. We are the body of Christ. What we suffer, Christ suffers with us. By sharing our suffering and death Jesus has opened the way to new life and given us the hope of the resurrection.
“On behalf of all the people of the diocese, I want to join Father Felim in offering to the families of Alan and Clodagh, to their friends and work colleagues, to the parents and children in the schools and to the whole community here in Castlerahan our deepest sympathy on your great loss. My colleague of the Church of Ireland, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, contacted me to offer his support and prayers and the support of his community also at this time of great sorrow. So too did many of my brother bishop, priests, religious and lay people around the country.”
Bishop O’Reilly concluded, “May the God of mercy and compassion give you healing and strength to bear this cross and may he give you hope to face the future, knowing that one day you will be reunited in heaven. May they rest in peace.”