a friend within

Jun 15, 2024

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Over the decades I have celebrated and attended many funerals, including the rites of Christian Burial (to use the formal name) for many priests.

It is relatively rare for the eulogies and homilies given at these funerals to get to the heart of the matter.  Very often the focus is on the earthly achievements of the person with stories told of grandad’s golf and grandma’s baking of Father’s Monday hobbies and parish organisational skills.

Very often a person of great faith is buried without a mention of their great faith.

One funeral last week was very different.

Anton McLean was a diocesan priest who had made his home in recent years among the people of my home diocese of Christchurch. I had great love and respect for Anton, and was not surprised when a Press obituary referred to him as “a friend of Jesus.”

There is no greater praise for a priest.

I thought you might like to hear one of the most powerful funeral homilies I have ever heard for a priest. While John was sharing a eulogy rather than a homily it is my hope and prayer that we might learn both from Anton’s life and from John’s reflection to seek more passionately (as Anton did) the ultimate relationship with as Anton reflected in the title of his book – available at this link –  Jesus A Friend Within.

Click on this link to hear the reflection given by John at Anton’s funeral earlier this week.

4 Comments

  1. To my disappointment, l cannot find your Food for Faith on my Spotify.
    There are so many other Podcasts under similar Titles . None are under your name or signs
    I wandered if others have experience similar problems
    Thank you Margaret Pohe

    Reply
  2. Thank you John for sharing this…I was at the vigil which was truly beautiful. I can now share this eulogy with some others who were unable to attend.

    Reply
  3. A most comforting and encouraging reflection on Anton’s life. Yes, indeed, ‘Jesus, my friend within’ thankyou for the podcast.

    Reply
  4. Anton has been a very special friend to my family for many years, always known as our gentle giant. It has been a privilege to have known him Thank you so much for sharing your podcast.

    Reply

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