Brother Patrick Sheerin born: 1938 Entered: 1974 Professed: 1980 died: August 3rd 2018 Obituary from the Benedictine Yearbook Br Patrick served his time as a skilled engineer in Glasgow. He then spent a few years as a junior engineer in the merchant navy. It may have been from that time that he developed a love of fishing. There must be few Scottish lochs he had not frequented on fishing weekends. The Legion of Mary loomed large in his life, which even took him abroad on a number of Peregrinatios. He made many lifelong friends from this time. He was then drawn to enter the abbey when he was middle-aged. In the abbey Patrick put his engineering experience to good use on the steel lathes and other similar work. He was knowledgeable with timber and enjoyed working on a wood lathe producing nicely turned out fruit bowls and other such items for sale in the monastery shop. Patrick would often walk in the wooded areas around the abbey where he was fascinated with the wildlife, especially the many different species of birds that appeared throughout the changing seasons. For a number of years the guest house had become Br Patrick’s main occupation. He helped many guests with their problems. His experience gained in the Legion of Mary enabled him to help some of the guests with their problems and to deepen their faith. When the guest house closed, Brother Patrick moved back to the Abbey. After about two years he had to go into a Care Home for proper health care. That eventually bought him back to a happier state of health, more like the person he was. He died peacefully. The numbers at his funeral indicated the number of people who had grown to know him and be helped by him over the years at the abbey. Br Patrick was in his 79th year when he died. Homily by Abbot Mark Funeral Mass for Br Patrick 11 August 2018 In matters of faith, God takes us at face value. He doesn't put off till tomorrow or until it's convenient. We are not sent to the back of the queue to wait our turn. He doesn't forgive us 'eventually' and keep us waiting to teach us a lesson. Theologians over the ages have pondered over how someone could enter heaven when the scriptures say that nothing that is profane, impure or unclean will ever enter heaven. They decided there must be someplace where we can be freed from the effects of our sins before seeing the face of God. There is no official Church teaching on this, only the theories of theologians in their attempt to explain the meaning of that reference in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. They have spoken of the length of time we may have to spend in purgatory. But, then again, how can we calculate things like that when we are dealing with the difficulty of reconciling our time with God’s eternity. In the Second Letter of Peter (6.8), we are told that 'with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day'. We do not know what happens after death and we really don't have to know. God knows and that is all that matters. We are in his hands. The one thing that we do know is that love God loves us. If we are open to God's love for us, it is that which will determine what happens to us when we die. God does not change in his attitude to us. We might change in our feelings towards God, but God is always there at the end of our travelling, ready with open arms to welcome us. That applies to all of us not just to the prodigal son in the well-known Gospel parable. We all need God's mercy. We can't go it alone. That's why we need a dose of humility. He created us and, as the scriptures tell us, all that he made was good - very good! We need to treasure all that we have been given. Yet that is not enough to bring us to where we are destined to be with God in heaven. We rely on God’s help to get there. Going forward hand in hand with God, we can walk tall doing our bit as well as counting on God’s help. No true parent thinks that their son or daughter is worthless or not good enough. Even if they didn't make the most of their God-given gifts, they wouldn't write them off as good for nothing. And God is no different in his dealings with us. We were told in the first reading today that God will make all things new and make his home among us. We will be given water from the well of life. It is free even though not essentially ours. But we honour the giver by accepting it and making it ours. The life and death of each one of us has an influence on others. The gifts that we have, or have acquired, helps others to see more of the gifts God has bestowed on the world. Patrick had worked in the merchant navy, had developed a love of fishing which remained with him all his life; he had later worked as an engineer which helped him when he became interested in wood turning in the monastery and began to produce elegant bowls and other artefacts for sale in the abbey shop. He also had a lifelong commitment to the Legion of Mary which remained with him in his years in the abbey. I have only mentioned some of his interests. But all of them helped him when he worked in the guest house in his dealing with many people who visited and were helped by him in their lives. It was only in his last three or four years that he had what can only be described as a breakdown in his health when he seemed to get worse and worse until he ended up in the Care Home in Glasgow for proper health care. It was wonderful to see how, towards the end of his time there, he had a return to much better health and more like the man he was. God had prepared him for that knock on the door that we heard of in the gospel at this Mass. In all of God’s working, God takes the initiative by knocking on the door of each of our lives; he then enters not just as guest but as the one who welcomes and serves us in heaven. There, one day, when the knock comes for each one of us, we hope to join them.