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In memory of Noel McCann

15.09.20
Mr. Noel McCann
1943 - 2020

46 Hunter's Hill Road, Gilford

peacefully at St. John’s Hospice.
Beloved husband of Maureen, loving father of Jonathan, and a dear brother of Sheila and the late Henry.

Funeral Mass in St. Colman's, Clare

Celebrant: Very Reverend Andrew McMahon

 

My dear people, an Old Testament reading from the Book of Wisdom encourages us to trust and to hope in the goodness and mercy of God in those times of loss and sorrow when someone we have known and loved departs from us in death. The reading responds and acknowledges that the death of those close to us can seem almost like ‘disaster’ - that’s the word it uses.

And death can seem like little more than a tragic or futile loss from an earthly perspective or human point of view. However, it goes on to suggest - with a vision of faith, or from a perspective of hope in God, it can be seen in a very different way. Death is not a disaster, but rather the hope of something new. A new life surrounded by the love of God, and one which our departed brothers and sisters are held secure in the ‘hands of God’, whereas the reading suggests ‘no torment will ever touch them’, And so it concludes ‘those who are fearful will live with him in love, for those who are faithful will live with him in love, for grace and mercy await those he has chosen’.

It is to that grace and mercy of the Lord that we entrust our brother Noel, now that he has gone from us, and ahead of us, in death. We pray that Noel would find that peace and rest in God, of which our Scripture speaks to us today, now that his earthly journey has finally drawn to a close.

Today we also give thanks to God, for that earthly journey, that life in this world, which was Noel’s. It was a life which, for the greater part, was lived out here in his native parish of Tullylish. Noel was born and raised in Ballynagarrick where he grew up alongside his sister Sheila and brother Henry. He went to school in nearby Gilford to the old National School, alongside St. John’s Church on Castle Hill. Noel played a bit of football in his younger days and always was a physically strong and health kind of man. In earlier years if his adulthood, Noel went across the water, as his brother and sister has also done, and worked over several years in the 1960’s and 70’s on building and construction sites, mostly in the London area. After his time there, Noel returned home and back in 1981, married Maureen here, a native of Magherally, on the other side of Banbridge. They settled in the home at Ballynagarrick where Noel had grown up and there Noel and Maureen lived our very nearly 40 years of married life together, and rearing together there, as the years passed, their son Jonathan and also helping look after Noel’s mother, Maggie until her death in 1995.

As a community and parish, we offer our sincere condolences to Maureen and to Jonathan on the loss of this deeply cherished husband and father. Noel continued his good health with the passage of years. He was always energetic and had a great stride when put walking. A strong man, he worked locally in later years, at McNabb’s orchard on the Stramore Road, Gilford, until his retirement. Noel became ill just in months, since around March, a terminal illness and has had a difficult few months, especially through the recent summer. We give thanks for the district nurses and the various teams of carers who attended to Noel throughout these months, and who supported Maureen and Jonathan in looking after Noel at home, as his condition professionally declined. We give thanks to God, too, for those were part of Noel’s care and nursing at the Hospice in Newry, where he spent the last week of his life and where Noel passed away, peacefully, on Tuesday morning. Now that the earthly journey has now drawn to a close for him, we commit our brother to the Lord, this day, in Christian faith and Christian hope.

We give thanks for Noel’s 77 years among us, for the contribution he made to the life of this community and parish in the course of his years, and especially to your lives, Maureen and Jonathan, and to his home and family. We are glad and thankful that his suffering is no more and we pray now that Noel would be at peace, in the presence of the Lord of his chosen ones, freed from the limitations of the body, and this mortal condition in which we share while on earth. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord and let perpetual light shine on him. May he rest in peace.

 

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