A Note of Thanks
After a funeral, it’s good manners to write a note of appreciation to those whose company, courtesy, and condolences were so consoling during the time of mourning.
Can this serve as one big thank you to all who “rose to the occasion” of our beloved Cardinal Edward Egan’s passing last Thursday?
This archdiocese and city he so loved were at their best!
From Father Douglas Crawford’s (his secretary) care at the moment of death, to the professional and personal attention of our renowned rescue responders, police officers, and emergency personnel at NYU-Langone Hospital;
To the reverent interest and reporting of the media, coordinated through Joe Zwilling;
To the meticulous planning of Monsignor Gregory Mustaciuolo and Father James Ferreira and our pros at the Catholic Center, Eileen Mulcahy, Channon Lucas, and Ellen Stafford, and their allies; Monsignor Robert Ritchie, Dr. Jennifer Pascual and the choir, and the ushers, staff, and clergy at the Cathedral he loved;
To the honor guards of police officers, firefighters, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre (who also graciously provided hospitality for the Cardinal’s wonderful family), Knights of Columbus, and Knights and Dames of Malta;
To our priests who came in such numbers, our deacons, seminarians, and religious sisters and brothers;
To the tens of thousands of his flock who paid respects and prayed at the wake;
To our devoted lay faithful, who supported Cardinal Egan’s pastoral initiatives through counsel and resources;
To our Governor, Mayor and their predecessors, our police and fire commissioners, so many political and civic leaders whose presence meant a lot;
To friends of Cardinal Egan’s (and mine) from the Orthodox, Christian, Jewish and Islamic communities;
To cardinals and bishops in such large numbers who came in solidarity, and Bishop Dennis Sullivan who preached so eloquently at the Vigil Mass . . .
It was an experience of rising from sadness to a renewed sense of faith, hope, and love.
Cardinal Egan tried to model his ministry as a priest, bishop, and cardinal on that of the Good Shepherd.
Fail he would, as he would confess; tough and painful decisions to close parishes, schools, hospitals, and institutions he sadly made, all to strengthen and reinforce the splendid array of ministries this archdiocese relishes; crises he confronted which always hurt; but, it’s the good we recall, and the shepherd we miss, that renews us.