It’s November, the traditional “Month of the Holy Souls!” As we celebrate “The Communion of Saints,” we thought this might be a good time to post a eulogy about one of our recently deceased Residents.
Here’s a real-life example of what Pope Francis is forever promoting—the much-needed and irreplaceable Influence of the Elderly on Today’s Youth. It was written for our deceased Resident, Patrick McGettigan, by his granddaughter, Grace, who is a student at Regis College in Denver, Co. Over the years, during visits to her Pop Pop, Grace made friends with another Resident, Paul Buzas, who occasionally e-mails her Scripture Reflections he receives online from his Alma Mater, the University of Notre Dame. Paul remained close and prayed with Patrick during his last hours at Holy Family Home. Below are the words that Grace pronounced at Patrick’s Funeral Mass, that she kindly sent to Paul.
Pop Pop Eulogy (Happy to share and have it published for PopPop. We love him so.)
Well, my Pop Pop was certainly not young – and he’d be the first to tell you that, while claiming, “only the good die young!” Yet he would also call ladies younger than him, “old dolls.” Pop Pop had a young heart and lived a joyful and virtuous 97 years.
Pop Pop lived with a childlike joy more authentically and freely than anyone most of us have ever known. Pop Pop lived with the joy that Jesus encourages us to have in the scriptures. We all knew Pop Pop. We know the indescribable contagion that his soul had. It’s because his soul dwelt completely in our Lord. And the joy he expressed was truly supernatural. Pop Pop was a beacon of the Lord’s Eternal Light. Every wink, every grin, every hug Pop Pop gave us revealed part of the Lord’s Sacred Heart that only Pop Pop could deliver to us.
Pop Pop was constantly loving and constantly laughing— or at least those of us around him were; and not just because he was funny looking. Pop Pop’s natural humor drew others to him and the virtues he possessed. His virtue imaged Christ, and Pop Pop’s love flowed so freely from the Heart of Jesus because of how intimately he united his life to Christ’s. He knew his Creator, he knew who he was, and he centered his daily life around this relationship.
I credit most of my faith and my desire for relationship with God to Pop Pop’s faithful witness. It’s certainly not our pomp’s and works that get us to heaven—Jesus on the Cross is the reason—but I remember realizing that Grandmom and Grandpop went to mass more than Sundays, and they said a rosary daily—by choice! And I was intrigued by these choices and I knew that it meant something. I thought as a 12 year old, “Their joy, their freedom, their wisdom… it has to come from somewhere! Or do you just get that when you get old?” Turns out, the beautiful, attractive, virtuous things I was drawn to in Pop Pop come from the Lord alone! And you don’t have to be old to get them!
Pop Pop showed me what it’s like to have a relationship with Jesus. He gave me an example I would have been lost without. He was a beautiful Christian, which means to be another Christ, and lead others to Christ merely by how he lived: thoughtfully, prayerfully, generously, humbly, and joyously.
Pop Pop effortlessly shared the Love of the Father and drew others to the Father. Pop Pop’s lived childlike joy brought Christ to others and others to Christ before they could even recognize it. St. Athanasius said, “the Son of God became man so that we might become God,” through receiving the Person Jesus in the Eucharist and the sacraments. Pop Pop was a perfect example of this, as a man who received Jesus daily, he certainly was like Jesus for all of us.
John 16:22 “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”