I imagine that the memory of Father Dominic’s funeral will long remain with us, and I’m sure we would agree that it was a fitting send off to a much-loved, and dedicated, Parish Priest. Perhaps, what was just a little strange was, that for a major parish event Father Dominic wasn’t present! You will all be so used to him being at the centre of whatever was going on. And yet in a way he was, not only was he the focus of our prayers and thoughts, he was the reason we were there; but he was present in the spirit that was so evident, a spirit that he had built up and encouraged.
That spirit was so evident through all those who assisted in so many ways with the funeral Mass, generously giving their time, and helping all of us to give thanks for the life, and ministry, of Father Dominic in a prayerful, fitting and dignified way. So, to everyone who assisted in any way, the stewards in the church, and outside, as well as the Altar Servers, musicians and sacristans, as well as those who cleaned and decorated the church; and not forgetting those who fed the many people at the funeral, just as Father Dominic would expect, to each of a big ‘thank you’.
It was good to have our local Bishop, Paul McAleenan, with us to celebrate the Reception and Mass on Wednesday evening, and then to have Cardinal Nichols with us, celebrating the Funeral Mass on Thursday, along with many of Father Dominic’s brother priests on both days. As both preachers, Mgr. Harry Turner, on Wednesday, and Canon Shaun Lennard, on Thursday, spoke of how Father Dominic lived his priesthood, reminding us he was a priest through and through, it was how he served God’s People, and it was where he found his own fulfilment.
We continue to pray for Father Dominic, and to thank God, for the lives he touched, and the many blessings, received through his Priesthood.