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In memory of Jimmy Feeney - Page 2
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In memory of Jimmy Feeney
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FUNERAL MASS

27TH October 2007

Celebrant: Very Reverend Gerry Powell P.P.

Opening Address

I welcome you to this funeral liturgy for Jimmy Feeney. We are praying today for all of you in your loss. Death is always a shock; even more so when it’s the death of someone close to us who has died long before his time.

We all come here to remember Jimmy, to give thanks, even in our grief, for his life, to offer each other, and especially those who will most miss him, 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 Jimmy; our sadness is that he has gone from us at a young age. Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome him 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 Jimmy.

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 Jimmy grant him peace. Welcome him 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.

HOMILY

“If only”…. Words we often use, but especially when we experience tragedy or great loss … like the sadness all of us experienced at the shocking news of this tragic passing of Jimmy Feeney. And we find the same sentiment expressed by Mary in the Gospel today. She says to Jesus:


“If only you were here this would not have happened”.

 

It’s a natural reaction. In life when we meet a situation of extreme frustration, as all tragedies are, we will find 2 very strong emotions – blame and guilt. Both are natural but neither is helpful. They are just expressions of the anger of frustration.


We can look on this sudden death in different ways – A dark cloud, a moment of intense loneliness, and an experience we resist and don’t wish to speak about. You will all deal with it in your own individual way but can you see it as part of the outstretched hand of God’s support or the light beyond the cloud that is dark; or the companionship of Christ in this fearful moment of loneliness? Our faith tells us that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

 


Like St. Paul we carry our faith in earthen vessels and death can either shatter or deepen our faith.

 


To be a Christian is to be a pilgrim on a spiritual journey. To be a pilgrim is to go along the way of faith, hope and love. The goal is certain – eternal life in Christ Jesus. But the way is often uncertain and at times we can lose our sense of direction and we forget how to live.

 


This is a time of sadness. We are sad today because we are gathered to mourn Jimmy and say our final farewell. We are here today to console you in your sadness by our presence, our prayers and our words of consolation.

 


Today we leave all judgement to Almighty God. With whom there is mercy and fullness of redemption. In the funeral prayers we pray that he will “forgive any sin we committed through human frailty”. We also recall that God remembers the good that we have done and forgives our sins. In that spirit we pray today for Jimmy, remembering the words of Jesus from the cross:

 


“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”.

 


In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all and it comes with bitter agony. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time.

 


November is just around the corner - a time of remembering. Its very sound seems to have a resonance of things ending and dying. Nature has worked its way from spring through the summer to autumn and now approaching winter – a time of death, of fallen leaves and empty potato drills. It’s no coincidence that November is the time of year when we particularly remember our dead. The scattered leaves remind us of our various memories. Some trouble us, others satisfy us - A time to put the clock back to remember Jimmy in happier times, places and events that shaped and formed you. To think about your own lives, where they are coming from and when they are going. Today as we approach the month of November – the month to pray for the Holy Souls and all our loved ones and friends who have died – may we all have the courage to live our lives as best we can in the service of God and one another so that we may all share in the Risen life of Christ. Amen

 


With Father Mc Donagh I would like to express our sincere sympathy to Doreen, Brenda, Gail, Michael, Patrick and Kay, granddaughter Grace, brothers Alan, Peter, Declan, Sisters Arlene, Cindy, Maria and Michelle, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and the entire family circle. May Mary the mother of God who buried her own son be with us to see the mind and the plan of God in our lives at this time.

 

 

Memories of Jimmy by the Feeney Family

Jimmy was the second of eight children and son of Doreen and the late John Michael.

He grew up in a happy family setting here in Laurencetown where, as a child, he developed a keen interest in the country pursuits of hunting, fishing, horse-riding and boxing - just like his father before him.


There was nothing he liked more than to go out huntuing with his dogs or fishing in in the lough in his boat, which he named "Kernan Queen". In recent times, his nephew Aaron was his fishing companion.

By the age of 18 years, he was making his name in the boxing fraternity, winning numerous County Down and Ulster Championships. He was one of the first Irish boxers to take three All-Ireland Titles in three consecutive years - 1973, 74 and 75.

He was decribed by Bill Rutherford of the BBC and Leo Kelly as as natural talent - one of the best lads they ever trained.

A member of the Iveagh Pony Club, he went on to succeed his father as Huntsman for the Iveagh Harriers at the young age of 18. Jimmy was a skilled horseman who had an excellent seat in the saddle. He also intherited the skill of making Blackthorn sticks from his father.


He was dearly loved by his family and friends. A jovial character and yet a troubled soul who never got over the death of his father, John Michael, over 30 years ago.

 

Jimmy's passing has come as a great shock to everyone and he will be sadly missed.

Jimmy Feeney by Leo Kelly

Jimmy won the Youth National Championship in Dublin in 1973 and won the Junior title in 1974, In 1975, he boxed Damien McDermott (from Derry) in the Ulster Championships. Albert Uprichard and I were in his corner. In the first round he boxed very well but in the second round he was caught by coming off the ropes with a great punch from McDermott. When we got into the dressing room, Jimmy was very disappointed but Bill Rutherford, a well-known BBC boxing commentator, came into the dressing room and told Albert and I that Jimmy had the best boxing talent he had seen for years - "a born natural ". It was sheer inexperience. Jimmy went to Dublin three weeks later and won the Irish Senior Championship, out-pointing the same boxer. Forty eight hours later, his father was shot dead as he stood and watched. I have no doubt Jimmy would have made it as a pro, had it not been for that dreadful Sunday night. Jimmy was one of the best lads I ever trained.



 

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