Words of Bishop Donal McKeown at funeral Mass for Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy at the Sacred Heart Church, Carndonagh

28 Oct 2014

We hear about terrible events every day in the media.  Most of them pass us by.  But when something tragic happens in our own community then it can really shake us.

Today we gather in our confusion to mark one such event. The deaths of Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy have caused tears, fear and anxiety in this parish and far beyond it. We gather round the Cuddihy family in their terrible pain and loss. But, as we gather to pay our sympathies to the extended family, we also recognise what effect their deaths have had on very many people.

On a day like this we stand together at the foot of the Cuddihy family cross, not sure what to make of the loss, searching for something that will calm our troubled spirits, struggling for words. People of faith have no simple answer to that mystery.

But in our uncertain prayers and amidst the tears, we try to believe that, even if we will never understand what happened less than a week ago, there is one who can make sense of the apparently senseless. Because of the brutal death of Jesus on the Cross at 33 years of age and his subsequent Resurrection, we believe that even the most awful events in life cannot destroy the dignity of everyone involved in the deaths. We pray, not childish words to a magical figure in the sky but adult words to the God who walks the rough roads of life with us. Because of him, there is more grace in the world than sin, and evil will never have the upper hand.

These are painful days.  But as a faith community, you have had to face many difficult times. You will continue to be with the family over the next weeks and months. You will support one another in the midst of fears and anxieties. You will be sensitive to those who had to deal with the aftermath of the deaths.

This is where a parish community that prays is at its best – refusing to be broken or to pretend that nothing has happened, helping one another to find peace with the past and to build hope for the future.  Pray that this tragedy will not crush any one. Give faith to our young people so that they too in their time will have the faith, hope and love that they will need to see them through difficult points in their adult lives.  And as we leave this church today, let us – in our own imperfect ways – continue to pray for one another.


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