Introductory Words and Homily of Father Declan Foley PP for Requiem Mass for Eoghan and Ruairí Chada RIP
Saint Lazerian’s Church, Ballinkillen
We are gathered in great sadness today and we acknowledge the deep wounds of grief being carried by the Chada and Murphy families, and indeed the grief of the wider community.
However, we will also celebrate in great joy, the lives of two beautiful boys Eoghan and Ruairí, who gave so much happiness to their parents Kathleen and Sanjeev, their grandmothers Patsy and Bimla, their grandfather Billy, their aunts and uncles who are here with us today and also their aunts Jean and Sharon along with their families in South Africa and Australia, who are very much with us in their thoughts and prayers at this time, and also their 14 little cousins. We welcome especially Sanjeev’s sister Suman and her partner Pablo (from Madrid), and Sanjeev’s brother Keshev and his wife Audrey and children (from Northern Ireland).
The community of Ballinkillen has suffered a loss that will be felt long into the future.
We are familiar with the Gospel words of Jesus, ‘Eli, Eli Lama Sabachthani’ ‘My God, My God, why have you deserted me’ Matt 27:46.
These were some of the last words of Jesus before he died on the cross.
These words took on a whole new meaning for the family on Monday afternoon when word came through from Westport confirming the deaths of Eoghan and Ruairí.
‘My God, My God, why have you deserted US’!
As Jesus died on the cross we are told in the Scriptures that the ‘Veil of the Temple was torn in two, the earth quaked and the rocks were split’
On Monday afternoon all of us who were gathered with Kathleen and family shared in such an outpouring of grief, it felt as if the earth had quaked and the house had shook.
But just as Jesus rose to new Life in the Resurrection, we also know that Eoghan and Ruairí are now being embraced into the loving arms of the Lord with new life in heaven. It is that which we celebrate this afternoon, by remembering the joy and energy and life they brought to their families, their school, Ballinkillen and Fenagh GAA Clubs, Nurney Soccer Club and the local community.
And so we gather in prayer.
End of Introduction
(Gospel: Mark 10:13-16 ‘The little children and Jesus’)
When little children die, we are naturally saddened and in many ways broken, and we often say, they had so much promise and potential so much to live for, they never had a chance to bear fruit.
And yet often we forget, that in their short few years, they achieved so much, lived with such energy and intensity, brought such joy and happiness to their Mam and Dad, and Ballinkillen community – and that is what we going to celebrate today.
For many, the death of a child, and in particular the sudden and tragic death of the boys is beyond comprehension and almost impossible to put into words, but to remain silent would do Eoghan and Ruairí a disservice.
We have all become familiar in recent days with the lovely photograph of the two boys, portraying a beautiful image of closeness and love. This picture manifests perfectly their relationship.
Although the boys have their own rooms, they always slept together in the one bed.
As the local community would be aware, the boys’ grandmother Patsy is our sacristan here in the church and indeed from the time Eoghan and Ruairí could walk, they would be here helping her in the church after Sunday Mass, along with many of their little cousins of the same age.
Only last Sunday as Mass ended, all of the kids charged up into the sanctuary area with such excitement and energy as they set about collecting leaflets and helping us tidy up, and loving every bit of the action. There is a marvellous closeness and friendship between all of their little cousins.
Every day the boys lived with joy and energy, and they loved their Mam and Dad deeply.
Ruairí never saw himself as the little brother, and Eoghan could never say no to him.
The boys regularly played with their good friends and neighbours, the Kavanaghs and the McLoughlins.
They attended the local primary school, where they had so many friends and so much fun.
They were deeply embedded in the local GAA and soccer clubs, and were extremely talented players with very bright futures.
Their deaths have stunned the whole community but particularly the parents of their classmates, and their big concern was how they were going to tell their own children this sad news.
We are so appreciative to the principal Michelle Doorley and her staff for bringing in the National Educational Psychological Service, who have done Trojan work with families in recent days.
Eoghan of course was not just a talented sportsman, he was also an apprentice magician, and enjoyed nothing more than practicing his skills on 5 year old Ruairí.
Eoghan’s latest ambition was to become a chef and he loved experimenting in the kitchen, with a view to following in his uncle Kenneth’s footsteps, as a top-class chef. But he was also a boy who kept his options open, as recently he went to the sales with his uncle Kevin and bought a calf with his communion money.
Little Ruairí loved nothing more than helping Poppy, as Granddad Billy is called, around the farm. He was going to be a tractor driver when he grew up. He was also looking forward to making his First Holy Communion, and making some money. If Eoghan could buy a calf, he was going to buy a combine harvester.
If that wasn’t enough, Ruairí had a very busy social life, as he had numerous girlfriends and he seemed to be able to accommodate them all.
This gives us a picture of two little boys who lived life to the full and who embraced every day with energy and were full of love and happiness.
The Gospel reminds us that the Lord has a special place in his heart for little children, and I have no doubt that they are now enjoying new life with Him in heaven.
Let us pray for them, remember them, and thank them for the love and life they brought to their Mam and Dad, and all the family.
This community has been blessed by their presence.
Father Declan Foley
2 August 2013
Liturgical Information for Requiem Mass for
Eoghan and Ruairí Chada RIP
Presiding: Father Declan Foley P.P. will preside and will preach the homily.
Procession of symbols of the boys’ lives
Cousins and Friends: Sarah, Rachel, Holly, Hannah & Emily.
Symbols are a hurley and ball, a toy tractor, a cookbook, a golf club, a bicycle and a photograph of the boys.
Commentary on the Symbols Procession
Kathleen Chada’s cousin: Mr Tom O’Reilly
First Reading (Ruth 1:16-17)
This will be read by Kathleen Chada’s Sister-in-Law Ms Orla Murphy
Second Reading is Noah’s Ark, the boys’ favourite Bible story
This will be read by Kathleen Chada’s Sister-in-Law Ms Triona Murphy
Psalm (The Lord is My Shepherd)
This will be sung by Mr Tom O’Reilly (See above)
Prayers of the Faithful
These will be read by four of the boys’ Primary School teachers: Emma Murphy, Alicia Manning, Diarmuid Creadon and Michelle Doorley, and by Rose Shepard (Kathleen Chada’s cousin).
The gifts of bread and wine will be brought up in the Offertory Procession by family friends Mike Redmond and Tony Meaney.
Fr George Augustine, C.C., an Indian priest from Portlaoise will read a post-Communion reflection in Hindi.
Kathleen Chada’s cousins Ann and Aine Shepard will read a Reflection from her sister-in-law in Australia, on behalf of her children.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444