There’s something strange about this morning. For, as Mr. Farley will recall, for so many years it was never really an Immaculate Conception Funeral without Flo and Gerry Leaver and Ruth and Ed Horan sitting in the pew by the organ over there. But you know what? I’ll tell you a secret. Flo and Gerry and Ruth and Ed are still here, with all the angels and saints, as we celebrate this Funeral Mass and pray that God will forgive whatever sins Flo may have committed on this day of her birth unto eternal life.
It all began eighty-six years ago at Saint Peter’s in Dorchester as, Ella and George Hanlon brought their little baby into Church to be Baptized. The Priest took water in a small golden shell and pouring it over the child’s forehead said: Ego te baptizo, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sanctus. I baptize you, Florence, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.Thus began a great journey, as Flo was joined to the death and rising of Christ Jesus. She would learn how to kneel down and pray, to make the sign of the cross, to go to confession and to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. Gertie was there to see it, as day by day and year by year, she came to know Christ Jesus. She learned to love, to forgive and to live in the model of her Lord and Savior.
For the greatest memorial to Florence Leaver will not be the finest monument in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. It will not even be the wonderful stories you will tell or even the moments you will recall her wise and faithful words. No, the greatest memorial to Flo, will be the life of faithful love which you are invited to live with the Son of God and his Church, the same journey she walked and which led to the loving arms of Christ Jesus, her Lord.