Nine years ago, I slowly stepped up to the alter at St. Cajetan Church in Chicago to deliver my brother Frankie’s eulogy. From the podium, I stood ovewhelmed at my witnessing of the love and attention of my brothers and sisters, their spouses and children, Sullivan, Neylon, and Doody cousins, life-long family friends, and neighbors. I wondered what Frankie would say about all of these people taking pause out of their busy lives to be there on that cold, December morning. They put everything on hold to be there for my brother, a man who lived a life of pure humility.
My plan was to read The Prayer of St. Francis at the end of a very short tribute to a brother I wish I knew well. I glanced at the casket and prayed. I expressed gratitude on behalf of my family, and intuitively asked everyone to read from the back page of the mass booklet carefully crafted by sister Eileen.
The Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is dispair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.