Announcement: Two RC Woman Priests, Good Shepherd Pastors, Will be Celebrating A Memorial Mass For Ten on Sat June 16th,2018
Even as we prepared to light our candles and say prayers for eight beloved friends two more left difficult journeys behind and went home to our loving God. My beloved cousin Barbara Robinson whose life and legacy of love we sang in the last paragraphs of this blog went home to join the company of angels and saints in the wee hours of Wednesday June 13th. She leaves a loving family and host of friends here as noted below. Her funeral will be this Saturday at 9 AM in ST. Rose of Lima church in Massapequa, New York and we will pray for her and her beloved family in our 2PM Mass as well. And we will pray for Gary Knafla,72, An early member of Good Shepherd ministries who was killed by a car while crossing the street on Wednesday as well. Gary leaves a mother, three sisters and two sons in Colorado and many friends here. He was a Veteran and a successful business owner in Colorado before living in Fort Myers and becoming very ill. He loved animals and his friends despite his advancing disability. He is remembered for his kindness.
In the past two years the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community of Fort Myers,Florida has witnessed its beloved co-Pastor Judy Beaumont and eight of the members going home to our loving God. The last one was Michael G. Murray whose life we have celebrated here last month, and Ruby Tuesday(Stacie Pearce)died in February of this year and was also memorialized in this blog. The others recently deceased are Linda Maybin,Ben Walden,Robert Swanson and Kathleen Vanderwarf. Our church member and Doctor Teresa Sievers was taken from us in a tragic murder in 2015. Each one had different gifts and was a precious part of the life of our church and ministry to the homeless and formerly homeless.
All are welcome to attend. It will be at a home in Fort Myers and to protect privacy the address is not given here but those interested may write me an email at email@example.com. Pastor Marina Teresa Sanchez Mejia and I will preside.
I have spoken of Michael Murray and Ruby Tuesday(Stacie Pearce) in recent blogs. Ben Walden was a wonderful craftsman who made model ships and other small treasures. After he was able to have a home in Goodwill Housing he reconciled with his family and traveled to Colorado for a reunion. Kathleen Vanderwarf was mother to Timothy and they both attended church and functions as they could. They also faithfully attended St. Francis RC parish. Linda Maybin was baptized and confirmed in our church. She was a beloved mother of seven and grandmother of one, and Aunt to many as well as a teacher of our little children. She and her mother, Jolinda Harmon brought over twenty young people regularly to our church. Robert Swanson lived at and was caretaker of the church for two years. He was also baptized and confirmed at Good Shepherd. He loved his family and his little terrier.
Dr. Teresa Sievers attended church with us and also saw over 35 homeless people pro bono to help them with health needs and to qualify for housing. Her selfless generosity in this was a mark of her Christian faith. Her beloved daughters and mother also attended our church on occasion.
The Gospel for next Sunday is Mark 4:26-34 about the Christ followers’ job of sowing seeds for the kin(g)dom-seeds of love and justice- so that the reign of God can spread throughout this earth where there is so much recent violence and conflict. Jesus says that it is the smallest seed that grows the most magnificent shade trees where the birds of the air can rest. I see the smallest seeds as the small acts of love we each do. And those who have had much faith shown in endless small acts of love have left a legacy of hope that will spread through the generations. We hope to celebrate that love together on the Sixteenth of June.
This quotation of theologian Henri Nouwen from his book Bread For The Journey , (copyright 1997,Harper, San Francisco) speaks to the seeds of the kin(g)dom and what is eternal in life. They speak comfort to the mourning but also hope for the world.
“Hope and faith will both come to an end when we die. But love will remain. Love is eternal. Love comes from God and returns to God. When we die,we will lose everything that life gave us except love. The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us. It is the divine,indestructible core of our being. This love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation.
When we approach our deaths let us say to those we leave behind, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. The love of God that dwells in my heart will come to you and offer you consolation and comfort. ” Henri Nouwen
As I write this I am also aware of the transitioning to God, the last days and moments, of my dear Cousin Bob’s beloved wife, Barbara Robinson. Barbara is such a strong woman of faith whose voice led the Choir in her St. Rose of Lima’s RC Church in Long Island, and it also brightened all of our family gatherings. Joy and warmth characterized her way in the world and all felt welcome and accepted in her presence. Her husband Bob of nearly 61 years,and her children Kathy and Ken and their spouses George and Lisa and all of their children and grandchildren and all of our extended family rise up every day and call her blessed. She and Bob created family as a bastion of love and support as families should be and are so often not, and love flows from them through the generations.Barbara Robinson’s life is a beautiful example of sowing the seeds of love that reverberate throughout time. And so as she joins the company of saints and angels we want her and her family to know that her love will remain forever. And she will be remembered and loved forever as will those who have departed from our Good Shepherd Community.
Love and Blessings to all who mourn and to all who love,
Pastor Judy Lee, RCWP
Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community, Fort Myers Florida
In this picture are Michael Murray, Ben walden and Pastor Judy Beaumont, now in the company of Saints and Angels.
Above Ruby Tuesday/Stacie Pearce-Advocate for the Homeless.
Above-Robert, Kathleen and Linda and Pastor Judy Beaumont are in this picture.
Here Linda (middle) is standing with her mother Jolinda, sponsors, as her son Quayschaun is baptized. And below, Linda is standing with her “little lambs” class in the church.
Below is Robert with his family on the day of his baptism and Confirmation
Above, Dr. Teresa Sievers and Kathleen Vanderwarf and Linda Maybin are in this Christmas picture.
Above is Barbara Mueller Robinson next to husband Bob and with Judy Beaumont and myself and her niece Lori Whitlatch Post and son Kenneth Robinson, and our Shotwell Cousins Patty King and Dorothy Stewart at a Family Reunion. Barbara was a beloved mother to Ken and to Kathy Robinson Knoppert and several loving grandchildren and great grands and a large loving extended family.
LOVE IS ETERNAL THANKS BE TO GOD!