When I went in to “work” today — that is, when I went to the Pastoral Center rather than remaining here at the parish — I had to see to the plans for the funeral for Fr. Roy Beeching. I mentioned a little bit about him last night.
One of the first things that I did was to check his employee file. All the priests are supposed to have on file funeral instructions so that when they pass away, we might know their wishes. It helps, especially, when family or friends are not really clear about what might need to be done. After all, a funeral for a priest is a bit different than for the laity.
When I went into his file, I saw that he did leave instructions. He indicated that he had his funeral preplanned and prepaid. That is always a help. At least the funeral director knows what a person wanted and can make the provisions. What touched me was his planning for his Funeral Mass.
When I looked to see if he wanted any particular priest to be the homilist at his Funeral Mass, he indicated that he wanted me to do it. We have been friends for many years now; however, when I saw my name in his plans, I was really touched. Even thinking about it now as I type this makes me emotional. I hope to do a good job for him at the liturgy on Thursday.
Since becoming the administrator of the diocese, I have been the main celebrant for three of our retired priests’ funerals. The superstitious say that these things “come in threes”. I think I just might have to tell the priests to knock it off so that another set of three doesn’t begin. At least, not until after a new bishop comes to the diocese!
Rest in peace, Roy. You must be laughing already thinking about what I have to do Wednesday and Thursday for your services. 🙂