The funeral of Fr Michael Hurley SJ, co-founder of the Irish School of Ecumenics, was held 19 April 2011 at St Francis Xavier’s Church in Gardiner Street, Dublin.
The principal celebrant was Fr James Hurley SJ, a brother of Michael Hurley who is based in Hong Kong. The main concelebrants were Fr Tom Layden (Irish Jesuit Provincial) and Fr Conall O Cuinn (Rector of Milltown Park). The homilist was Fr David Coughlan SJ and the Reader was Helen Murray. Mass was sung to St Patrick’s setting by Colin Mawby and sung by the gentlemen of the choir of St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Rev Dr Norman Taggart, a former President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, spoke at the conclusion of mass on behalf of the churches of the Irish Council of Churches. The final commendation was given by Fr Tom Layden.
The order of service included ‘a few words from Michael’:
So I want my funeral to be a joyful one. My friends raise their eyebrows when I say that I look forward to being at my own funeral and to enjoying it. But whatever about myself some at least of my relatives and friends and fellow Jesuits will surely be there and I would want them to enjoy the occasion. I would hope it could be a sort of celebration of my life which in so many ways has been happy as well as fruitful – thanks however not to myself but under God to the trust in the first place of my Jesuit superiors – beginning with Cecil McGarry – and then to the trust of so many friends in all the Churches, but specially my Jesuit friends. I would hope my funeral could be such a service of thanksgiving, a Jesuit but also an ecumenical, interdenominational service of thanksgiving.
The gospels as well as common sense tell us, warn us, to be ready!
Click here for Fr Michael Hurley’s obituary from the Irish Times.