Posts Tagged ‘pope

18
Nov
14

His Life Was A Story Of Doing The Right Thing From Start To Finish

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Chipsticks

Thank you all for your beautiful, kind and loving words, you’re the very best of friends.

I had the privilege of visiting my uncle in Australia a few years back, it was the best trip of my life. What a stunning country.

I remember sitting drinking coffee with him on the Melbourne shoreline and he pointed to a pier where, he told me, he had arrived from Ireland 40-something years before. I thought I was heroic just flying to Australia, but his journey, by ship, was interminable and grim. A young Irish man who’d never left home before, suddenly landed in this far-off land, he and his family assuming they’d never see each other again.

He was a priest, so I gave him a terrible time :-) But he was a liberal, and did his own thing – and stood up to the most vile pedophile-defending conservative Catholics in his part of the world. And he paid for it – but happily so.

I am so, so happy he lived to see Pope Francis, my last conversation with him … it was like he was almost content to let go, now that his Church was led by a man like that. He adored him, he made his heart sing. He laughed out loud when I said I was tempted to put a poster of the new Pope on my wall.

“Life’s funny, isn’t it girl?”

“It is, Uncle J.”

He lived an amazing life and did so much good. I didn’t know that until I visited his world, as I rambled around his parish I was flooded with stories of the wonderful impact he had on people’s lives, and how he fought for those crushed by authority. Their love for him was immense.

When I arrived in Melbourne we met up that evening. He had a meeting the next morning about dealing with a priest against whom sexual abuse allegations had been made. “Just do the right thing,” I said to him. “I will,” he promised. And he did. He stood strong, and he lost friends because of it. But he did the right thing.

His life was a story of doing the right thing from start to finish.

He was also a brilliant sportsman in his younger days. He won an All-Ireland medal, kind of the equivalent of the Super Bowl!

He gave his medal to my mother.

Tonight, she stroked it lovingly. I can’t begin to understand her sense of loss.

“Ma, he had a wonderful life.”

“He did,” she said, and then she stroked that medal again.

All I could do was hug her and love her.

May he rest in peace, my family will miss him so much.

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05
Oct
14

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama is presented a plaque by philanthropist Lois Pope and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, during the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial dedication ceremony in Washington. President Obama paid tribute to disabled U.S. veterans on Sunday, pointing to the dedication of a new memorial honoring those severely injured in war as a symbol of the nation’s perseverance and character.

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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Military veterans stand as they are recognized by President Barack Obama and are applauded during the dedication of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial

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Veterans and invited guests listen to President Barack Obama speak

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with actor, musician and military advocate and National Spokesman for the American Veterans Disabled for Life (AVDL) Foundation Gary Sinise

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President Barack Obama stands with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Vietnam war veteran and Disabled Veterans’ Life Memorial Foundation co-founder and President Arthur H. Wilson

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20
Aug
14

Laughter Can Help

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