Homily of Fr Gerry Corcoran, PP Donaghmede Parish at Funeral of Vincent Ryan

08 Mar 2016

Please see below the homily of Fr Gerry Corcoran, P.P. for today’s Funeral Mass for Mr. Vincent (Vinny) Ryan, which will takes place at 10.00am in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Donaghmede, Dublin 13:

When a family member or close friend dies in sudden and tragic circumstances, our world is turned upside down in an instant.  We immediately start asking questions like, is this real? or is it a horrific nightmare which I will wake up from? Very soon the enormity of the tragedy begins to sink in and the reality of what is happening begins to emerge. We begin to seek answers to questions we have. Why did this happen?  Why now? Why Vincent? Why not to someone else? We can be angry with God for not intervening and preventing this tragedy from happening.

It’s so easy to take life for granted. We know we all must die, but most of us assume or at least hope that it will be when we are old. So when a young person dies suddenly and violently as Vincent has, it is a stark reminder that we should never take life for granted. Tomorrow is not promised, which is why we must live each day to its fullest and embrace it a gift from God and so strive, to live out our daily lives as Christians in preparation for that unknown moment when our earthly journey will be over.

But when tragedy strikes, like it has for Vincent’s family, God is also there in the midst of our pain and suffering. Today’s Gospel from Matthew tells us “Come to me all you who are overburdened, and I will give you rest”. In it we hear that invitation to draw closer to him in times of difficulty. To help us during dark and difficult days like today. He is that light that will draw us forward from here.

This Sundays gospel is about the Woman who was caught committing adultery. She is brought to Jesus by the Scribes and Pharisees who really wanted to test him so they could use it against him. Jesus puts this challenge to them “if there is one among you, who is without sin, let them be the first to throw a stone at her”. One by one they left. After some time, Jesus asks her, “Woman has no one condemned you”, she replies “No one Sir” then he says to her “neither do I, go and sin no more” In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has encouraged all of us to look inwardly at our lives before we point the finger at others and then seek the Lords forgiveness. When we seek that compassion we are welcomed by a loving and caring Father, just as the Prodigal Son was, in last Sundays gospel.

Much has been written and said about Vincent in the media in recent days. But to his family, to those who actually knew him, he was a loving Son, partner, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. He loved his partner Kelly and the birth of their baby daughter Phoenix just 6 weeks ago brought great joy and new life to him. His excitement at her birth was described to me as “unreal”. Vincent enjoyed cycling from a young age and more recently his love of his motor biking emerged.  He was intelligent, witty and loved to play pranks. He valued friendship greatly.  Was a good handyman who could “put his hand to anything” having also served his time as an apprentice plumber. He played guitar and enjoyed music. He was a non-smoker, non-drinker and never used drugs. He enjoyed watching TV especially the Discovery channel.

Those are just some of the things that I have learned about Vincent in recent days from his family.  I am sure many here today have their own individual memories of him which even the passing of time cannot take away.

Today we pray for those who grieve Vincent’s passing as we commend him to the just Lords loving and compassionate embrace, in the knowledge, belief and understanding that one day we may all be reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us in faith.

May he rest in peace.

Out of respect for the solemnity of the Mass, and to provide privacy and space for those present please note filming and recording is not permitted in the church or on its grounds.

  • Further Information: Annette O Donnell,  Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Dublin:  087 8143462