Joining the Funeral

Joining the Funeral

by Theresa McDonnell Friström, AMMM      Ireland      03.03.2022

Funeral resizedWhen I unexpectedly walked in the funeral procession of Fr. Mick Reynolds, CSSp, from Kimmage Manor to the Church of the Holy Spirit in Dublin one Monday morning, something strange happened. Firstly, I was the only woman. Secondly, I felt I was in holy space; and thirdly, I felt I was representing the very many people around the world and those predeceased who were helped and graced by that intelligent, wise, and unassuming man.
The list of Mick’s beneficiaries includes Medical Missionaries of Mary.

I met Mick soon after I began working with Aengus Finucane, CSSp. in Bangladesh in early 1973, around the same time that I met Ursula Sharpe, MMM. Aengus was to become my boss and mentor in Concern for more than 20 years and friend until his death in 2009. During that time, his classmate and friend, Mick Reynolds, was always quietly in the background, always keeping an eye and hand out for his friends. By association with Aengus, we became Mick’s friends.

Mick Reynolds was never one to hang about nor to get in the way – he believed we should leave while we were still wanted – so he always appeared to be in a hurry. It seemed strangely fitting that I should be in a hurry that Monday morning. I had a commitment to join a meeting with Vita (another NGO established by a deceased CSSp.) that had been rearranged a number of times and could not be changed. I knew that I would have to leave early.

I arrived at Kimmage Manor in good time to find the office so that I could make a donation to the Spiritans in memory of Fr. Mick. But, instead of being quickly directed to the office, I was given a royal welcome, invited to the parlour where Mick was being waked, and then invited to join the funeral procession across to the church. I was humbled and honoured to walk in the presence of those few confreres who could.

The Homily was delivered by Mick’s friend and confrere of 73 years, Dick Quinn, CSSp., who is now the only surviving member of the class of 1949/50. Dick used the final teaching of Jesus as recorded by Matthew, to reach out to the needy, the marginalised, the unloved, and in doing so to reach God, as the model for how Mick lived his life.  Dick pictured Mick as permanently standing by a stile, helping lame dogs over, and concluded with ‘saving a dog will not change the world but for that one dog, the world is irrevocably changed’. Rest in Peace, Mick.

It seemed appropriate, too, that all this happened this year on St. Valentine’s Day 2022.