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Nov. 17th - A Priest's Funeral

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordNovember 17, 2022
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today's readings are Rev. 5: 1-10; Psalm 149 and Lk.19: 41-44

Yesterday at the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Almonte, ON, southwest of Ottawa, the funeral for Fr. Paul Gaudet was held.  

Fr. Ian Riswick and I, who were ordained with Fr. Paul on May 11, 1991, were privileged to be present for this funeral mass in the lovely, old parish church that Fr. Paul had served as Pastor for the last 6 years. 

As Fr. Paul had served as a chaplain with the Canadian Armed Forces for 19 years of his priesthood, there was a great turnout of military veterans, military chaplains as well as Bishop Scott McQuaig, the Catholic Bishop for the Canadian Armed Forces.  The Presider of the funeral mass was His Grace, Marcel Damphousse, Archbishop of Ottawa, and many priests of Ottawa were also in attendance.  Not surprisingly, the largest group present were Fr. Paul's parishioners.

A priest's funeral is a unique celebration of faith, hope, and thanksgiving. Thus, during yesterday's mass we thanked and praised God for the gift of Fr. Paul's life, we thanked his family for nourishing his vocation, we thanked Fr. Paul for his service to God's people. and of course, we prayed for the repose of his soul, and prayed for each other, as we mourn his passing. 

What was particularly unique occurred near the conclusion of the mass, when the "Last Post" was played by a bugler who was present, followed by the congregational singing of "O Canada", and then the priests and bishops present sang "Salve Regina". It was a funeral I will never forget. 

The livestream of the mass can be found at 

Fr Paul Funeral Mass - YouTube     

Fr. Paul, rest in peace!