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In memory of Josephine Doyle


Josephine Doyle

I welcome you to this funeral liturgy for Josephine Doyle. Especially her loving husband Oliver, sons Martin, Francis and Gary, daughters Joanne and Mairead, daughter in law, son in law, grandchildren and all the family circle. Thank you to everyone who have come to support you today in your great loss.

We all come here to remember a good person, to give thanks, even in our grief, Josephine’s life, to offer each other, and especially her family and all those who will most miss her, the consolation of our love and our presence with you today; and to offer also the promise of eternal life.

Our consolation will be the happy memories we have of Josephine; our sadness is that she has gone from us. Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome her home and that one day we will be united together in heaven. In the depth of our loss and hope we now pray and offer this Eucharist for Josephine.

We come to God, knowing we need his mercy and forgiveness, and so in preparing to celebrate the Mass we call to mind our sins.

Lord, you suffered and died in our name. Lord have mercy.

Lord, your heart was moved with compassion for the sick and the bereaved. Christ have mercy.

Lord you suffer with your people at the right hand of the Father. Lord have mercy.

And may almighty God, have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to life everlasting.

Let us pray:

Almighty God and Father of all, you strengthen us by the mystery of the cross and with the sacrament of your Son’s resurrection. We pray for Josephine, grant her peace. Welcome her to the eternal joy of the kingdom and give us all new hope in our sorrow that one day we shall all be with you and with each other in your home where every tear will be wiped away. Grant, this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A sad occasion like this today is an occasion to reminisce and to allow the mind to linger on moments from the past. Memories flood back of childhood experiences of being cared for, encouraged and loved. This is a time when gratitude for a loving mother wells up in the heart for a “job well done”. It is a time of awakening to an appreciation of the gifts and blessings received. It is only in hindsight that the gift becomes clear. Life is lived going forwards but understood looking backwards.

We gather here today in sadness with the family of Josephine Doyle. Our thoughts are for you. We ask God to send his Consoler to bring his peace to your hearts and to your homes. We give thanks to God for the life that he gave Josephine and pray in faith that he will welcome her home to everlasting happiness in heaven.

There is as the Scriptures remind us, a time for every season under heaven. As we gather in St. John’s Church we reflect on the mystery of time and providence that are in God’s hands: there is indeed a time to die, a time to weep, a time to mourn, a time to keep silence, a time to speak, a time to love.

Holding a vigil for Josephine in hospital and their home before she died her family have shared memories of who she was and what she meant to them. We mourn her passing, we cherish her memory. Above all you have remembered the humanity of a good person. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Josephine. A burden of pain, burden of loss, burden of grief weighs heavily on you all. We gather as a community - our presence here today is our way of reaching out to the Oliver and family.

Josephine was totally devoted to her husband Oliver and family. So too she was so devoted to her family –to them she was a rock – a model mother. Josephine was born in Bleary in 1941 as Josephine Toland. Her mother, Mary Agnes and father Joe had twelve children – six boys and six girls. Josephine was the youngest girl.

She worked in Gilford Mill as a “Doffer” and her children fondly remember how she sang the song:

“Oh my name is Josephine Doyle

I’m a Doffer in the Mill.

My sweetheart doesn’t know it

And I hope he never will”

Josephine was a very kind person who would have helped people in times of need. She had great faith and this helped her through many parts of her sickness, especially as, 8years ago she was given just hours to live. Josephine liked nothing more than to have a bit of craic and a dance. She loved a wee gamble down at the bookies and sititng on the summer seat down the street. Friends and neighbours recall seeing her there on Thurdsay, the day before she fell ill. She had six grandchildren who she adored very much: Shauneen, Sean, Michaela, Jamie, Peadar, Chloe.

Josephine was an Armagh supporter while her brothers and sisters supported Down and they used to joke that Josephine must have been born at the back of the house! Hopefully, for just once, Josephine will turn her coat and let down be the better team!

We remember a lovely person, a lady who was a treasure to you all. Letting go of her today is not going to be easy for Josephine was a great lover of family, people and life itself. Thank you to all who cared for her and loved her in life. Now her suffering is over. As Josephine has died now a part of you dies as well. We pray that she is with the Lord and we look forward to the day when we will be reunited with her. Christ’s resurrection assures us that if we follow him we will rise again.

She brought love, care and friendship to those who knew her. She died after her strength could no longer meet the challenge of life. Today then we bid farewell to Josephine. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what your mummy would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Josephine life has changed, not ended. We also derive comfort from the conviction that she is at peace with God.

With Fr. Mc Donagh, and the entire parish community I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to her loving husband Oliver, sons Martin, Francis and Gary, daughters Joanne and Mairead, daughter in law and son in law, grandchildren, and family circle.




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