Information for media on the funeral liturgy for the Hawe Family RIP

03 Sep 2016


  • Media

At 4.00pm today the funeral Mass for the late Hawe family RIP, will be celebrated in Saint Mary’s Church, in the parish of Castlerahan and Munterconnaught, in the Diocese of Kilmore.  Father Felim Kelly CC, will be the chief celebrant at the Mass which will be attended by family, friends and by the local parish community.  Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore, will concelebrate the Mass and will preside at the Final Commendation. Burial will take place immediately after the requiem Mass in the cemetery beside the church.

As the church has a limited capacity, attendance today is reserved for friends and relatives.  Out of respect for the solemnity of the Mass, and to provide privacy and space to the families, media are asked not to use camera equipment within the church or on its grounds.  A public address system will be in place to relay the Mass to those attending outside of the church.

  • Mass

Please see below information for media on the funeral liturgy for the Hawe Family RIP:

Introduction and Presentation of Symbols – a snapshot of the positive qualities of the family:

Philip, Alan’s uncle, places a Kilkenny jersey on Alan’s coffin.  Alan was steeped in the noble traditions of family, Windgap and Kilkenny.

Mary, Clodagh’s mother, places a family photograph on Clodagh’s coffin, crystalising her greatest gifts, wife, mother and promoter of family values.

Helen, Alan’s aunt, places a basketball on Liam’s coffin, to recall his many special qualities that shone out as a beacon of goodness, hope and friendship.

Audrey, Clodagh’s cousin, places a trophy on Niall’s coffin, an award for excellence in sport, just one of his many talents immersed in a serious nature.

Gerry, known to Ryan as “Grandad”, places a woolly dog with appealing eyes on Ryan’s coffin, never could a symbol be more apt.

I want you to look at three other symbols here in St. Mary’s Church.

The cross behind the altar, a reminder of pain and suffering and sacrifice, and the words of Christ himself, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me”.

The Paschal or Easter Candle, a symbol of Christ’s victory over suffering and evil.  He is the reason for our faith in disbelief and hope at time of despair.

The Baptismal Font, the symbol of humanity enriched with divine life and the promise of an eternal destiny.

Symbols make a statement.  As we begin our Mass I would ask you all to stop and reflect on the symbols and the awfulness of the moment.  The Holy Spirit speaks to us in our anger or bewilderment or despair or even curiosity or possibly emptiness.

He invites us, Tabhair dom do lámh, give me your hand.

Secondly, I would like you to focus on two families united in support and brokenness, sharing the burden, bewildered, pained and yet heroic. Mary Coll, Clodagh’s mother, Jacqueline her sister and Gary, Jacqueline’s son.  How much more can a family endure!

Stephen and Olive Hawe, Alan’s parents, Enda and P.J. his brothers, Sarah and Vanessa his sister-in-laws. Uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews and extended family.  The Symbol of the dove is appropriate.

There are other groups of people I would like to mention. The staff of both Castlerahan and Oristown National Schools.  The staff and friends from Virginia College.  A very special bonded group, 6th class of 2013/14 in Castlerahan National School, some of whom are the Altar Servers.

And especially the present group of Altar Servers as Niall was one of them. Our two choirs today.

Castlerahan may be at the centre of the world today but it is also the centre of many many people’s thoughts and prayers and good will as messages have been pouring in all week from diverse places and generous people.

Music – Choirs.

Two choirs from St. Mary’s Church are singing at the Funeral Mass.

Entrance Hymn: Be Still for the Presence

Psalm: The Lord is my Shepherd


Offertory Procession: Surround Me

Sign of Peace: Peace I Leave You

Communion: In the Quiet, Heal Us Lord and There is a Place

Prayers of Communication: Jesus Remember Me

Recessional Hymn: The Cloud’s Veil

First Reading – Read by Melissa McDermott (Clodagh’s first cousin)

A Reading from the Book of Lamentations   3:17-26

My soul is shut out from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
And now I say, “My strength is gone,
that hope which came from the Lord”.
Brooding on my anguish and affliction
is bitter and painful.
My spirit ponders it continually
and sinks within me.
This is what I shall tell my heart,
and so recover hope:
the favours of the Lord are not all past,
his kindnesses are not exhausted;
every morning they are renewed;
great is his faithfulness.
“My portion is the Lord” says my soul
“and so I will hope in him”.
The Lord is good to those who trust him,
to the soul that searches for him.
It is good to wait in silence
For the Lord to save.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm: The Lord is my Shepherd

Second Reading Read by Vanessa Hawe (Alan’s sister in law)

A Reading from the Second Letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians


Through the Good News that we brought God called you so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Stand firm, then, brothers and sisters, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such healing comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you in everything good that you do or say.

The Word of the Lord.



A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke        24:13-16.28-35

On the first day of the week, two of the disciples were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened.  Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him.

When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them.  “It is nearly evening,” they said, “and the day is almost over”.  So he went in to stay with them.  Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.  And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight.  Then they said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?”

They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem.  There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, “Yes it is true.  The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”  Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Homily: Father Felim Kelly CC

I would invite you to come with me as I called to see Alan and Clodagh and Liam, Niall and Ryan on a Christmas morning a couple of years ago.  Christmas is about family, is centred on children and is about giving and receiving.  I know I was calling to see close friends and knew the welcome, Clodagh with her scones, red jam and mug of coffee, Liam, Niall and Ryan busily like budding engineers building all kinds of Lego.  More importantly they invited the old man and indeed showed him how to go about some intricate structures.  Alan standing with his back to the kitchen sink totally at ease enjoying the bean an tí and the antics of unspoiled and respectful sons.  Though it must be said Ryan the youngest had the eyes of a rogue and a beguiling manner.  That is my abiding memory of a family at Christmas.

I invite you also to join me here in St. Mary’s Church on any Sunday morning as the community gathered to greet the Lord and greet one another.  Alan and Clodagh with their children most times together in their seat.  But each in their turn carrying out their ministries, Alan and Clodagh as readers of God’s Word, Liam likewise, also an Altar Server and a member of both choirs, junior and senior, Niall, Altar Server and soloist with the children’s’ choir, Ryan having progressed to the junior choir.  With typical bravado announced “I’d be able for that”, that being a duet at the tender age of five with his buddy Lisa.  The family met Jesus in the Word, in song and in the breaking of the Bread, an encounter that enriched their very special qualities as individuals and as a family, week in and week out.  This will be part of my abiding memory also.

The family played an amazing part in the life of their schools as teachers, held in the highest regard by colleagues, parents and children, respectful of all in their care and so co-operative in every possible way.  The children, gifted pupils, team players, budding leaders, warm friends.  What a loss!

Likewise in the community.  Organisations and individuals benefitted from so much generous sharing with true family and Christian values the motive and inspiration.

There is a dark side too.  How so much goodness could be destroyed?  How such happiness could be invaded?  How?  Why?  It is not for us to seek answers or to surmise about behaviour.  We all are trying to cope with a tragedy beyond our understanding.  With Christ on the Cross we too may cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken so many who cared so much.”  The Easter Candle quietly assures us “He is Risen.”  The Baptismal Font and its life giving water symbolising God’s gifts proclaims our dignity as the children of God on our way and the destiny of seeing God as he really is.  Clodagh, Alan, Liam, Niall and Ryan are at peace.  This is what faith tells us.  This is the assurance of hope.  It is the response of love.

Prayers of the Faithful:

God our Father, we come before you bewildered at this time of deep tragedy.  We believe in your mercy, in your love for your children and in your comfort for all who grieve and mourn and are distraught.

  1. Enda (Alan’s brother):

We pray for Alan, Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan and the deceased members of the Hawe, Coll and Connolly families.

May they experience forever the peace of the risen Lord.

Lord hear us.

  1. Enda:

We pray for the two families who are grieving. Lord we ask you to comfort them in sorrow and fill the emptiness in their hearts with the presence of your everlasting love.

Lord hear us.

  1. Enda:

We pray for the media that God may guide and assist them with the warmth of his love to be truthful, respectful and sensitive in everything that they do.

Lord hear us.

  1. Eileen (Clodagh’s cousin):

We give thanks for the love and support shown by family and friends, of the Castlerahan and surrounding communities especially neighbours who have offered their homes, Fr. Kelly and all of the clergy, the Gardaí, the staff of Finnegan’s funeral home and the medical profession.

Lord hear us.

  1. Eileen:

May the Lord bring all the dead into the light that no darkness can overpower.  May we all meet in joy with you.

Lord hear us.

  1. Jason (Clodagh’s uncle):

We pray for all the teachers, pupils and families especially in St. Mary’s National School, St. Catriona’s National School, Oristown, Virginia College, that they will receive strength to assist them in their sadness and grief.

Lord hear us.

Mary, Mother of Sorrows, you cradled your son in your arms, we ask to gather Alan, Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan into your care as the mother hen gathers her chickens under her wing.  We say together.

Hail Mary…………

Offertory Procession

Alan’s parents, Stephen and Olive present the bread and wine to the Altar which will become the Body and Blood of Christ.

Communion Reflection

The Broken Chain (read by Jacqueline, Clodagh’s sister).

We little knew that day,

God would call your names,

Alan, Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan,

In life we loved you dearly,

In death we do the same.

It breaks our hearts to lose you all,

You didn’t go alone

For part of us went with you all,

The day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories,

Your love is still our guide

And although we cannot see you,

You are always by our sides.

Our family chain is broken

And nothing will ever be the same

But as God calls us one by one

The chain will link again.

Sleep Tight.

Prayers of Commendation and Farewell: Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore Diocese

Father Felim Kelly has spoken movingly and eloquently in his homily about this beautiful family who have been taken from us so tragically. He has offered words of hope and consolation where there is at present only profound loss and grief and darkness. On your behalf I thank Father Kelly and all involved in this very moving funeral Mass.

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we put our faith in the infinite love of God, and we commend Alan, Clodagh, Liam, Niall and Ryan to God’s warm embrace.  When we ask ourselves how could God look on while this was happening, we remember that God doesn’t look from a distance at human suffering and death. God is there in the middle of it, suffering it with us,  as he was there in the death of Jesus on Calvary. We are the body of Christ. What we suffer, Christ suffers with us.  By sharing our suffering and death Jesus has opened the way to new life and given us the hope of the resurrection.

On on all our behalf, I want to join Father Felim in offering to the families of Alan and Clodagh, to their friends and work colleagues, to the parents and children in the schools and to the whole community here in Castlerahan our deepest sympathy on your great loss. My colleague of the Church of Ireland, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, contacted me to offer his support and prayers and the support of his community also at this time of great sorrow.  So too did many of my brother bishops, priests, religious and lay people around the country.

May the God of mercy and compassion give you healing and strength to bear this cross and may he give you hope to face the future, knowing that one day you will be reunited in heaven.

May they rest in peace.

Final commendation
Mass will conclude with the final commendation.  This will involve the incensing of the coffins, blessing with holy water and the final prayers.  The recessional hymn will be sung as the remains are carried from the church.


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 (in Cavan).