Fr Liam Nugent, O.Carm.

Given at the Reception of the Remains in Whitefriar Street Church, Dublin, on Tuesday, April 26, 2005, by C. Crowley, O.Carm.

To the family of the late Fr Liam, we welcome you and we sympathise with you. We thank you for your family gift of Fr. Liam to our Order.
We sympathise with you on this very special day in the life of the Church which saw the inauguration of Benedict XVI as Pope in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. It was a most solemn celebration with hundreds of thousands gathered about him and millions watching worldwide on television.
Yesterday morning Benedict met a much smaller number, just six and a half thousand in the audience hall built by Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council. It was an audience for journalists and for people from the communications media in general. The new Pope showed his appreciation by thanking them for all the hard work they did, for being away from their families and the routine of their ordinary lives during these recent weeks which saw the dying days of Pope John Paul, the lying in state, the funeral, the preparation for the conclave, the information disseminated internationally even as events were happening; his own election as Pope and its announcement.
The obvious sincerity with which he expressed his gratitude touched the hearts of all present. They caught the mood. Spontaneously they began to chant ‘Benedetto, Benedetto, Benedetto’ even as the young people had begun to chant the name not just in St. Peter’s Square but throughout Rome on hearing he had chosen it on his election.
Our Liam had some of the Pope’s qualities. People latched on to him in attachment. They trusted him and readily turned to him. He had time for people and he let it show. It is striking and touching how many have been asking for him since he became ill.
And this evening when we welcome you all in prayer and offer our sympathy to Liam’s family, we offer it too to the many who were drawn to him, attentive to him, attendant on him and appreciative of him in a great many ways.
There is Betty O’Rawe, a long-time devoted friend, and the many who come to the church day after day, members of church and priory staff, and of the coffee shop as well as of so many other areas of activity and ministry here at Whitefriar Street.
There are the Lay Carmelite chapters to which he gave faithful service over many years in his beloved Derry, in Belfast, in Gort Muire, as well as here in Whitefriar Street. There are the years and years he spent as a member of the staff of Cathal Brugha Street College, during which years he travelled county after county keeping contact with past students of the College. He spent a generation leading annual pilgrimages to Fatima with Celine Chisholm.
In more recent weeks, through another Celine, he was cared for at St. Joseph’s Crinken Lane by Caroline and staff. And here at Whitefriar Street, in the time before he needed nursing home care, Máiread and Mary Canty attended his needs alongside our ever vigilant housekeeper and staff. To all of these individuals we Carmelites give a big ‘thank you.’
At his Mass this morning, Pope Benedict said that those who believe are never alone, neither in life nor in death. Love, Faith, Hope sustain. We draw life from the gift of Christ’s Body and Blood, and from his Word. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. I am going to prepare a place for you.’ You believed Liam. Now rest in peace and enjoy your glory.