Very often when we come to a funeral Mass the Gospel passage chosen is the one that we have heard at Mass today. As we listen to it we find consolation in the promise that we hear there, that Lord that will not forget us, that he will be mindful of us, that he will always keep us in view. He who stilled the seas, he who cured the sick, he who pardoned sinners, he who reconciled enemies, he who came to heal the broken gives us this promise that he will not forget us, he will always keep us in mind, that he carved us on the palm of his hand. What great consolation that is to those who have sorrows and feel the loss of one that they have loved.
Amongst the first words of the risen Lord are – Do not be afraid. These words are addressed to the Apostles, and they are words that are meant to comfort them. They don’t need to be afraid, they don’t need to fear anything any more for he is always with them, they don’t need to be downcast or worried. The darkness of his death has given way to the bright promise of the Easter day. In him there is everything to hope in and believe in.
Do not be afraid any more. These words are also addressed to us, do not be afraid, don’t worry anymore, don’t be troubled, don’t be downcast because he is with us. When we feel we are falling down he will lift us up, when we don’t feel we have strength to go on, he will give us much needed grace to continue; when we are sad he will console us. Do not be afraid.
Rose took these words to heart and as with all the words of the Lord, they found a place in her heart. Her faith meant everything to her, it was the treasure in her life. She stuck to and loved it and encouraged others around her and near her to do the same. What a marvellous thing that is for everyone here to behold a life of great faithfulness to God, lived with great humility. Like a jewel gleaming and discharging shards of light so Rose’s good life had brought many graces to others.
Over the course of her own long life she would have attended many Masses like this and maybe carried away consolation from them, she would wish the same for you. Se would be very happy that you have come to offer prayers and Mass for her today. I know she would also wish of you a special place in your prayers always.
She was born on 8th June 1920. She was one of 6 children and the last to die from that family having, she outlived all her family. She was baptised at St Bride’s Church on 20th June 1920 by Fr Gerald Stack PP with her parents William and Roseanne McIntyre and Godmother Margaret Mackrell in attendance. St Bride’s Church was the parish she attended for many years, made all her sacraments, before settling here in St Cadoc’s. On behalf of the many priests that have been at St Bride’s I want to salute her for outstanding contribution to our parish and for the generation of very fine women that she represented, a generation that is slipping away from our midst. She married her husband John on 10th April 1939 (again at St Bride’s) – its amazing to think that if he had lived they would have been married 77 years. They met in one of the local dancing halls, I believe in those days the place to meet a future husband or wife –a kind of match-making place, if you like. Not wishing to move too far from her mother and Father they stayed in the same building known as the rookery in Kirkhill in Cambuslang! She had the best of both worlds being married and being beside her parents whom she was devoted to. In her life she had her own children: Benny and Anne and William and John (the tricky twins) and Liz & Janette. To say she was a wonderful mother to her children is without doubt and all of them today are heartbroken at their loss. But today as well as the sorrow it is a day to count blessings of her having her in their lives – all have had her well into their own adult life. She smiled broadly at the thought in recent years that her own children were now OAPs in their own right. She moved house in 1954 from the rookery to Woodlands Crescent and lived there until moving to Kyle Court in 1975 and then moved again to Halfway in 1982 at the death of her husband John to her present address at Cairnswell Ave. In her life she worked at different places: as all young women of the day at the Richmond Laundry. She was also a school cleaner in her day and worked too at Levensis. She had 2 stints of work at Hoover, the second she had to tell a lie making herself 2 years younger in order to get the job. Imagine Rose telling a lie! Shocking!
Family was always important to her and in the end she had a large family her own 6 children, 16 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren 2 on the way – that’s a whopping number of people, not mention the in-laws and also the outlaws. She was overwhelmed with the thought that she had lived to see all of this, previous generations could not have imagined being able to do so. She was greatly loved by all these children, each found in her a woman with a tender and gentle and kind heart, someone who gave her all to them. It is a sign of their affection for her that they are here today and some have travelled from around the world to be here today, just to be here today. There is a sense you will never see her like again and you should be rightfully proud of what you have had and will always have.
But she was always the boss. And she only had to say and it was done! I recall on a pilgrimage to Rome that I led, certain of her girls, whose names I will not mention, were up late, I will just say after midnight. Rose came down, night dress tucked in her skirt, and hands on hips ordered them upstairs – they went upstairs meek as lambs. The following day they were red faced at breakfast and duly chastised, they had been checked. Needless to say it didn’t happen again.
One of the big joys late in life was to go to Rome and Lourdes, places where she was not able to go early in life. It must have seemed like an impossible dream, but what a wonderful thing to have done in the end.
She had her sadnesses in life: the death of John, her husband, and Benny and Anne, her son and daughter. But as she did in everything she met these occasions with the strength of her faith.
She was an exceptional person in many ways, transparently good. She was a genuine person without any sides. She was incredibly straight and honest and especially in later years would say it just as she saw it. She had a wonderful heart and a very kind nature which everyone who ever met her could see a mile off.
The last years brought the fair share of ill health and visits to the hospital. In those last years she began to feel the burden of her years, but that spirit and clarity of mind never slipped. As the years passed she kept on passing milestones, she was to die a month short of her 96th birthday, a wonderful total of years.
Rose has been a wonderful person all of her life. As a priest it was a delight to visit her or meet her, she had a wonderful vibrant spirit. She always had interesting observations on life and could sum up situations very wisely and in few words. She also expressions for things which you had never heard before, things that made you laugh. It was great to see that strong deep faith that had taken root in her life and had bore fruit in her in so many ways.
The family is broken hearted at their loss, but why should they not be? But we have our faith, just as Rose had her faith, and it is with this faith that we meet this situation. We shall meet each other again and what a happy and joyful homecoming that will be, to be united in the joy and peace of the father’s home in which there are many rooms. To be in the company again of those we have loved and who have loved us. And to be in the company of God who loves us more than words can tell.