Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eternal Rest grant unto him, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him

This past week, the pastor at my old church Christ the King Monsignor Thomas Kenny passed away unexpectedly at the age of 69 in his sleep. He was the pastor at CTK for almost 20 years. He first came to Atlanta from Ireland in 1965 when he was ordained as a priest. My mom worked as the church secretary and Fr Kenny became a life long friend and support for our family - I was only 1 when we first met. Everyone in my family loved him, especially my grandmother, she really lit up when we went to mass or saw Fr Kenny as we called him at his request.

He had this way of making you feel like you were the most important and welcome person at church....he made everyone feel that way. He always had a smile and a warm greeting. He had a wonderful memory also, he knew and remembered everyone. He was there for my family in our family losses and hard times.......and in good times in weddings, birthdays, baptisms and family parties.

I am so grief stricken - it has me surprised quite frankly at the depth of my sadness in his passing. I know he wasn't a part of my daily life since I no long go to CTK, but I knew he was there. I loved sending him a Christmas card and was so happy that he sent me a lovely note in return. I feel as though he was my last connection with the church I grew up at. I was baptized at Christ the King, went to grade school and received all my sacraments there. My parents were married there as was I by Monsignor Kenny. My wedding day was WONDERFUL and the fact that Monsignor Kenny celebrated the service and married Andy and I made it so special, it was a very personal wedding. Andy proposed to me in California and after I called my father the next morning to let him know I was engaged, the next person I called was Fr Kenny to get him to give me a date off his calendar. My dad is now living in an assisted living facility and does not go to Christ the King. After I married we moved out of the parish and I started going to St Andrew, which I do love, but you know I spent most of my life at CTK.....and Fr Kenny was a big part of the many ministries and roles I served. He made you want to help the parish out and to be be a better place....and he was so grateful.

Its hard for me to grasp that I will never see him again. I have been meaning to go to mass at CTK with Sarah so I could show her how big she has gotten. Thankfully, last year I was in a bible study at Christ the King and ran into him so he got to see Sarah Cate. I am really sad, and while its understandable I had no idea his passing would hit me this hard. Its yet ANOTHER reminder not to take anything or anyone for granted and that EACH DAY IS PRECIOUS.

There is joy in knowing he is off this crazy planet and out of this mixed up world. I am sure he went straight to Heaven as he was truly a saint on earth. How wonderful that he is with our Lord, Jesus, the Blessed Mother Mary, all the saints......and those whom he helped Shepard. I need to focus on that and to remember that I can be with him again....its up to me.

God Bless You and Keep you Fr Kenny. Thank you Lord for giving us such a dear man, a true example for us all of sharing Your love with others.

Eternal Rest Grant unto Him O Lord, and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him.

Fr Kenny at my wedding July 2003....... helping lead me from my dad to my soon to be husband, and leading us through our vows with a huge smile all the time.

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