Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In Memoriam: Deacon Bill

Let me introduce you to a great man of God,
a dear friend we will miss,

Tonight we watched our beloved Deacon's funeral Mass.
He was the founding president of EWTN alongside Mother Angelica.
He succeeded Mother Angelica as CEO and Chairman of EWTN.
He was a faithful husband of 59 years, affected countless lives for the Lord,
and received the Pontifical Medal from Pope Benedict XVI for extraordinary service to the Church.

For all his impressive accomplishments, 
we'll remember him and be forever grateful to him
for the great things he did in our lives,
things that will never make his resume,
but which are eternally meaningful to us.

Deacon Bill welcomed me to Alabama when I moved in 2003 to be closer  to T.
He walked along side us as we struggled with questions of faith and future.
Deacon Bill and wife Ramona stood with my dear family and T as I was confirmed in the Church.
He led us in marriage preparation, agreed to preside at our wedding,
and arranged for Father Anthony to preside in his stead when he was unable to travel.
Deacon Bill encouraged us with countless letters, phone calls and prayers.
Most meaningful of all, he baptized G-Bear and E-Bear with all proud grandparents present
the week before T's dad passed away.

Our family with Deacon Bill and Ramona at G-Bear's and E-Bear's baptism.

I hope that I never forget the sound of Deacon Bill voice saying his perpetually offered phrase, 
"Thank you, Jesus!"
These were the words that he offered the first time I met him,
he said this in greeting,
in saying good-byes.
He inserted this thanks into almost every conversation.
Indeed, these were the words by which he lived his life.

Thank you, Jesus, for Deacon Bill.
Lord, let perpetual light shine upon him.
Help us to follow his footsteps, which always pointed us to You.

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