Father Noel Rooney PP will celebrate the Funeral Mass for the late Michael Snee RIP. The Mass will take place today, Easter Monday, at 12.00 noon in Saint Joseph’s Church, Ballytivnan, Sligo, in the Diocese of Elphin. A public address system will be in place on the church grounds. This Mass will be live-streamed on https://www.churchtv.ie/stjosephschurch/
Message of condolence from Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, to the family of Michael Snee RIP to be read at Mass
Dear John, Mary and Tina and all your extended family. While I cannot be with you today for Michael’s funeral, I want you to know that I am united with you in prayer. The death of someone you love is never easy. I understand that this has been a particularly painful week for you because Michael has been taken away from you so suddenly and because you have had to go through these days in the full glare of publicity. I am grateful for the kindness with which you welcomed me when I called to your home and, I know from listening to what you told me, that each one of you has his or her own treasured memory of Michael, as a son, a brother or an uncle. I hope that you will always remember him as you knew him and loved him. I am aware that you have great neighbours and friends, many of whom will be with you today in Saint Joseph’s Church. I am confident that, in the months ahead, you will experience, through their occasional visits or phone calls, the healing presence of God’s Spirit at work in you. I extend my condolences also to Michael’s many friends. I can understand that Michael’s death has touched each of you very personally. You can equally be sure that your friendship was important to him. May God, who loves Michael, hold you always in the palm of His hand. Michael devoted his working life to caring for the elderly and for people with intellectual disabilities. It is the kind of work that requires gentleness and patience. I join you all in giving thanks today for the gift of his life which was given so generously in the service of others. May Michael rest in peace! May Mary the mother of Jesus, who stood at the foot of the Cross, as her Son was dying, comfort you and strengthen you with her faith.
First Reading – Read by Emma Fitzpatrick (cousin)
A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah (25:6-8)
On this mountain,
the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples
a banquet of rich food.
On this mountain God will remove
the mourning veil covering all peoples,
and the shroud enwrapping all nations.
Death will be destroyed forever.
The Lord will wipe away
the tears from every cheek.
The Word of the Lord
Second Reading – read by Fionnuala McManus (friend)
A Reading from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (13:4-7,13)
Love is always patient and kind;
love is never jealous;
love is not boastful or conceited.
It is never rude
and never seeks its own advantage.
It does not take offence or store up grievances.
Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but finds its joy in the truth.
It is always ready to make allowances,
to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.
As it is, these remain:
faith, hope and love, the three of them.
And the greatest of them is love.
The Word of the Lord.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (23:44-46, 50, 52-53; 24:1-6)
It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’. With these words he breathed his last.
Then a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous man named Joseph. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud, and put him in a tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid.
On the first day of the week, at the first sign of the dawn, the women went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on entering discovered that the body of Jesus was not there.
As they stood there not knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side. Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here. He has risen’.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Prayer of the Faithful – read by cousins Linda Cunningham, Vinnie Fowley and Marie Hamilton
- We pray for Michael, who died so tragically this week. In Baptism he was given the pledge of eternal life. May he now be admitted to the company of the saints. Lord, hear us.
- We pray in thanksgiving for all the blessings that came to so many people through the life of Michael. May he now receive the fullness of God’s blessings in eternity. Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all our departed brothers and sisters, also remembering Aidan Moffitt, who died so tragically this week. Lord, hear us.
- Today we pray for Michael’s mother Phil. May Michael now be reunited with her in God’s kingdom where there is no more pain or suffering. Lord, hear us.
- We pray God’s blessing on all our First Responders and our Emergency Teams. May the Lord continue to bless them as they undertake their daily duties. May they be rewarded for all their kind deeds. Lord, hear us.
- We pray for Michael’s family: his father John, sisters Mary and Tina, nephew Aaron, nieces Shannon and Sophie, and all those who loved and will miss Michael. We ask the Lord to be their strength and consolation during these difficult days, and in the weeks that lie ahead. Lord, hear us.
Homily of Father Rooney
Once again I welcome all who are here in Saint Joseph’s Church this afternoon. I welcome those who are gathered outside the church listening via our public address system. And I welcome those who are joining our livestream.
‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here. He has risen.’
These beautiful words from the Gospel of Luke were read at all Masses yesterday, Easter Sunday. They are part of our Gospel reading for our Funeral for Michael this afternoon.
Michael came in this world on 10 April 1964 and left this world on 12 April 2022 – just 2 days past his 58th birthday.
He was pre-deceased by his beloved Mum Phil in 2001. On Good Friday, last Friday, the 13th Station of the Cross was about Jesus taken down from the Cross and placed in the arms of his loving mother. Today we pray that Michael is indeed in that loving embrace of Phil and that both of them are surrounded by the loving embrace of the Risen Christ.
Sadness, grief, devastation, disbelief, and, indeed, anger, are in our hearts as we gather. Last week, Holy Week, was for Jesus a week of betrayal, agony, suffering and crucifixion. Agony, suffering and crucifixion continue to be an ongoing reality for Michael’s family, despite the immense outpouring of love from their extended family, their friends and their neighbours. The Easter promise of hope seems elusive.
Less than 58 years ago Michael was carried into Sligo Cathedral by his parents, Phil and John, and by his godparents for Baptism – a moment of joy and a moment full of hope.
Today, once again Michael is carried into a church. This time in sadness at his brutal and untimely death. There is hope here too – the same hope as at his Baptism, more difficult to touch because our hearts are broken, but present nonetheless. The wounded Risen Christ is among us to plant the seeds of that hope.
It is important today that we do not allow the horror of Michael’s death to define his beautiful life. And what a beautiful life he lived. Many beautiful memories were shared with tears and with laughter over the last few days.
Michael was a beautiful, kind, and gentle person. He was much-loved and had a heart filled with love. He was sensitive and couldn’t do enough for his family, his friends and those with whom he worked.
He was a porter/carer in Cregg House and in Saint John’s Hospital. He had a beautiful way with residents, especially with those most complex. He retired about 10 years ago with sight problems.
He previously worked in various bars here in Sligo: T.Ds., Harry’s, Angler’s Rest, Regan’s.
Michael was always dapper and well-presented. He wore the best clothes and shoes. According to Tina, he aged gracefully and became better with age. According to Aaron, he was like a fine wine.
Oskar, his dog, was his baby and the love of his life. He was fed the very best of food: steak, pork chops, and chicken, while Michael himself lived on coffee. Oskar is so polite that he would not eat until Michael began to do so.
Michael enjoyed holidays abroad – 2/3 times a year. He loved the sun and a suntan, but would often fall asleep on his sunbed and end up burned, much to the amusement of family and friends.
He was witty with a typical dry Sligo sense of humour.
His family was the centre and the heart of his life:
- his great love for Dad and his sisters.
- his great love for his nephew and nieces, Aaron, Shannon and Sophie, who were at the heart of his life.
- last Tuesday he cooked a stew for his family and phoned at 6:30pm to ask was it ‘nice’ and did they ‘enjoy’.
- a visit to Rosses Point with Aaron was planned for later that evening, but was cancelled because of the weather.
Later that same night around 10:30pm Shannon and Sophie would make the grim discovery.
This was Michael’s beautiful life filled with love, kindness and a generous heart. Let these define his life and the memory of his life.
Easter offers us the prospect of not just looking back, but also of looking forward. In God’s good time we shall all meet up with our beloved dead. Christ beckons us to faith, to hope, and to trust in him.
1st Reading (Emma): Isaiah’s vision of a place where there is no more pain, no more sadness, no more tears, no more death. A banquet where all our deepest needs and longings will be fulfilled in a way that only God can fulfil them. May Michael come to that place.
2nd Reading (Fionnuala): Faith, hope, and love – these three remain. But the greatest of these is love. May the God who is love welcome Michael who life was such a loving presence for his family and all who knew and loved him.
Gospel: ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here. He has risen.’
The Risen Christ who is among us and with us invites us to faith, to hope, and to trust. There is more to us that meets the human eye. We can be overwhelmed by the sight of a coffin or a grave. But we are sacred in ways beyond our imagining. Only God sees us as we really are and will one day be when we find our way into the presence of our loving creator God. Our life is not a temporary gift, but a gift that, though changed, is destined to last forever.
We entrust Michael that destiny in the loving embrace of Jesus along with his Mum Phil. That same Jesus embraces us today in this Eucharist and plants the seed of hope in our hearts. We will indeed meet all our beloved dead again. You will meet Michael and Phil again. Despite sadness and grief, may we all, especially Michael’s family, allow that small seed of hope to find a home in our hearts.
And may your beautiful Michael rest in peace forever and ever.
- Shannon McManus (niece) – photo of his Michael’s dog Oskar
- Leah Sweeney (friend) – Michael’s coffee mug
- Lauryn Sweeney (friend) – Michael’s glasses
- Sophie McManus (niece) – family photo
- Tina McManus (sister) – Bread
- Mary Snee (sister) – Wine
By Aaron Spring (nephew)
Music and Song:
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